Analysis of Beethoven's Sonata

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  • Topic: Octave, Phrase, Cadence
  • Pages : 2 (649 words )
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  • Published : December 16, 2006
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The first sixteen bars of this Sonate by Beethoven is written in the form of a compound period, which is similar to a hybrid in some ways. A compound period consists of the presence of both parallel period and sentence, and usually one is submerged in the idea of the other. The sixteen bars can be divided into two eight bar phrases due to the presence of a half cadence in bar 8, and the perfect authentic cadence in bar 16. The eight bar phrases are extremely similar to one another, except for the cadential at the end of both eight bar phrases, which is consistent with the idea of a parallel period. The first four bars appear to be a basic idea, while the second four bars is the contrasting idea, with the antecedent ending in a half cadence. In the consequent of the 16-bar phrase, there is the same basic idea, a different contrasting idea, and a closure by a perfect authentic cadence. The presence of both antecedent and consequence describes the parallel period perfectly.

The first four bars of each eight bar phrase concludes with a half cadence, so the entire 16 bars can be divided into four 4 bar phrases as well. Only two voices move in bars 1 and 2 and they move in unison an octave apart, while the other two voices are held, creating a very simplistic melody. In bars 3 and 4, the voices begin to expand, making it more harmonic. From these characteristics, we can see that the form of the first four measures is comparable to another antecedent, with its basic idea and consequent idea in a smaller subdivision, bars 1-2 and 3-4. In bars 5 through 8 however, there does not appear to be a consequent as there is no basic idea. If we look closely, the melodic element in bars 1 and 2 stresses the perfect 4th interval, jumping in the first and second beat of bar 1 from e-flat to a-flat, and again jumping down in bar 2 from a-flat to e-flat, with various decorative notes in between. In bars 5 through 7, the increase of harmonic rhythm by the progression of the chords...
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