Mozart K331 Analysis Essay example

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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…show more content…
Fig. 1: First Movement, mm. 1-18. The tender melody Mozart presents in these first 18 bars is simple, with a lot of stepwise motion and small leaps. Adhering to classical style, he uses chords built on diatonic pitches and resolves dissonances quickly. Pairing a simple homophonic melody with simple accompaniment makes it easier to manipulate the theme in the coming variations. In Fig. 1, you’ll notice that the middle voice barely moves at all. In fact, it isn’t until measure 9 that we start seeing strong beats without an E in them. Also, the long-short (quarter-eighth/dotted eighth-sixteenth) motive remains constant until it too develops at measure 9. All of these techniques for a simple theme help Mozart develop his idea later. In the first variation, Mozart agitates the theme with the use of chromatic approaches and chromatic passing tones. Between the left and right hands, we hear an unrelenting series of sixteenth notes. Mozart also incorporates more use of dynamics than he did in the theme, by composing contrasting piano and forte sections. This drastic dynamic change happens in the A section of the variation. In variation II, another insistent figure is introduced: this time, triplet sixteenth notes. The melody in the right hand starts out very ornamented. Mozart then puts each melody note at the start of a flowing downward triplet arpeggio. The left hand emphasizes the strong beat throughout these triplets, and then the melody returns in the original

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