An Analysis of Beethoven Pathetique Sonata

4398 Words Nov 25th, 2010 18 Pages
An application of Analysis of Beethoven’s ‘Pathetique’ piano sonata No. 8 inC minor, Op.13 with particular focus on musical features such as melody, thematic content, rhythm, form and structure, and harmony.

Bent states that analysis is the means of answering the question, how does it work? According to Bent, analysis is a relatively young discipline “analysis as a pursuit in its own right became established during the 19th century” (Bent, 2006, p.13), although basic methods of analysis of music has been suggested to date back to the eighteenth century and have become a seductively compelling and important topic for music scholars over the last fifty years, and as a result, an extensive range of literature proclaims the value of
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8 in C minor, Op. 13 composed in 1798 focussing on musical features such as melody, thematic content, rhythm, form and structure and harmony. This sonata has been chosen for analysis as it is the most popular Beethoven sonata within the performance circuit, as it is a well known piece worldwide. Secondly, Beethoven developed Sonata form, adding more thematic contrast and contrasting melodies reflecting his own personal struggles with his progressive loss of hearing and also his failures in his love life which all contributed to the passion and despair that is depicted within the sonatas during his second compositional stage in his career.
Firstly, I will discuss the methods used in order to analyse the Form and Structure of the piece. The emphasis in analysis was often given to the form and structure of the piece, especially during the nineteenth century as this allows performers to gain knowledge more directly regarding the overall style of the piece. The sonata is composed in Sonata form and is separated into three movements, firstly the Grave- Allegro di molto e con brio movement, followed by the Adagio Cantabile middle movement and finally the Rondo Allegro movement. There are different meanings to the word structure in music, the first is to do with locating the different movements or the different sections of the piece and the second is to look at how the piece has been put