The Analysis of Mozart's "Dies Irae" Essay

710 Words Apr 20th, 2011 3 Pages
Megan Stewart
Theory III: MUSI 2311
Dr. Brian Bondari
December 13, 2010

The Analysis of Mozart’s “Dies Irae” The final composition of Mozart, The Requiem mass in D Minor, containing “Dies Irae,” is known to be one of his most powerful and commended works. This piece was composed in 1791 while Mozart was, unfortunately, on his death bed. However, he was unable to complete it so it was then passed on to his assistant and later finished by this man. The choral work can be very dark, for it concerns the Day of Wrath, when God will return to this earth and pass judgment on all creatures that remain, either granting them salvation or perpetual damnation to hell. This theme alone provides one with fear, thus it can be assumed that even
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In two different cases, relatively close together in the music, he uses a secondary dominant to embellish the regularity of the effect. However, in these two different cases, the chords shift slightly, as shown in measures 52 and 55, pictured below. V/IV I V6/5/IV IV Despite the fact that the V/IV is basically a I7 chord, theory students of modern teachings have been taught that the chord after the slash mark of the secondary dominant is where the secondary dominant will lead to. So, creating a simple I chord in the figure above might be seen as a little misleading. His is seen as more traditional in the sense of good music theory practice, but regarding that it is Mozart’s piece, it is safe to say that both will work just fine. Mozart likes to add color to his compositions by also using Neapolitan chords. He effectively uses them as both a passing function as well as a neighboring function. In the example provided above, Mozart cleanly exercises the passing rule of the Neapolitan 6th chord. Refer to Figure 2, measures 36 and 37: D Minor: V7 i i N6 ( in passing function) ◦7 Mozart clearly integrates the Neapolitan chord correctly, in the practical theory sense, and also very well in the application of the passing function. Although the
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