Mozart K331 Analysis

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Analysis of W. A. Mozart’s Piano Sonata in A Major, K. 331: First Movement Classical composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born to Leopold and Anna Maria Mozart in 1756 in Salzburg, Austria (then the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation). Mozart showed promise in music from an early age, prompting his father to assume the role as his instructor. His father described his son as a gift from God, and Leopold nurtured Wolfgang’s talents as such. Mozart would eventually travel throughout Europe with his musical family; however, it was in Salzburg that he would compose three piano sonatas in 1783. These pieces were most likely composed for Mozart’s pupils in Vienna, who were a significant source of income for him at the time. This paper concerns the second of the three: Sonata in A major, K. 331, specifically the first movement. The following explores the basic form of the piece, melodic and harmonic structure, as well as examination of methods used to vary the theme. The overall form of this movement is theme and variation. This form is characteristic of many solo sonatas; however, it is atypical for a first movement of a classical sonata. More frequently, the first movement would be in sonata form. This movement presents the theme in the first 18 measures as seen in Fig. 1(pg. 2). There are two 4-bar phrases, the first ending on a half cadence and the second on a perfect authentic cadence, that repeat. This forms what is called a “period,” where we have two similar phrases connected by a half cadence. In the second period, Mozart introduces new material, developing the long-short motive for four measures and continuing to a half cadence. After this he returns to the original melody for four bars, and ends the phrase on a root position imperfect authentic cadence. Following is a 2-measure extension, ending with a cadential 6/4 to give a strong perfect authentic cadence. Each movement follows the same structure except variation VI, in which the final repeat cadences...
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