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A Mozart

1st movement from Symphony No.40 in G minor (1788)


GCSE Music: AoS1

Classical Period


A period of music from 1750 1830 where

the focus was on clarity, order and

A large scale musical work written for a large orchestra

containing strings, woodwind, brass and percussion


Classical features


Graceful melodies written in regular

phrases of 8 bars (4 question, 4
Mostly homophonic texture with
some use of polyphonic texture.
Pieces had a sense of balance with
clear structures, for e.g sonata form.
Use of major and minor keys with
regular cadences.
Lots of use of chords I, IV, V, II, VI.
More varied dynamics than baroque.

The piece is written for classical orchestra and the

instruments Mozart as written for are as follows,
String Family
Violins (1st and 2nd)
Double Basses

Flute x 1
Oboes x 2
Clarinet x 2
Bassoon x 2

French Horn x 2

Common instruments that also feature in a Classical

orchestra but DO NOT feature in this piece are trumpet
(brass) and timpani (percussion).

Sonata Form
Can you recognise and describe these sections in detail?

Exposition (1-100)

Development (101-164)

Opening section where all musical

A section for the composer to
material is heard for the first time. develop one or both ideas from the
First Subject (1-20)
It explores the themes in many
Presented in the tonic key (G
different ways and explores many
keys steering clear of the keys
heard in the exposition.
Bridge (20-44)
Music modulates to a relative key
Second subject (44-72)
A contrasting theme in a relative
key (Bb major)

In the set work, Mozart bases it

on the opening 3 notes of the 1st

Codetta (73-100)

It becomes more chromatic and

quickly passes through E minor,
A minor, D minor, G minor, C
major, F major and Bb major.

Short section to bring the exposition

to the end.

(Notice each key goes up 4


Whole exposition section repeats.

Recapitulation (164-299)
Included to balance with the
opening exposition.
First subject
Presented in the tonic key (G
minor). Exact copy of 1st 20 bars.
Bridge (184-227)
Changed slightly as its purpose is
no longer to modulate the music to
another key. This time keeps the
music in the tonic key of G minor.
Second subject (227-260)
Now stated in the tonic key (G
Coda (260-299)
Similar to codetta but extended to
end the piece. The last 6 bars are

Information and key words

There are examples of the following words in the piece. Make sure you know what they
mean and know where they appear.
Tempo Fast molto Allegro
Time signature 4/4 time. 4 crotchet beats in a bar.
Transposed instruments French horns are in Bb and G to make sure they can play the
notes of the main keys. Clarinets are also in B flat.
Tonality Piece is in the key of G minor however it modulates into Bb major (relative
major) for the second subject in the exposition. The development section explores many
different keys and the subjects are both in the tonic key of G minor in the recapitulation.
Dynamics Lots of variety used
p piano quiet

mp mezzo piano quite quiet

mf mezzo forte quite

f forte loud

sf sforzando strong sudden loud accent

- crescendo gradually getting louder

- dimunendo gradually getting quieter
Articulation - How a note is played. There are different examples in the piece.
Dot over a note = staccato meaning to play the notes short
A curve over notes = legato meaning to play all the notes smoothly
Octaves Lots of examples of different instruments playing the same thing in octaves for
example the first and second violins at the beginning.
Dominant pedal Repetition of the dominant note or a sustained long note to prepare for a
key change (38-42).
Pathetique - Meaning a melancholy mood. Using descending semitones to help create
the mood in bars 43-44.
Augmentation - Lengthening the original note values in bar 81-82 in violin 1.
Diminished 7th chord Chromatic chord made up of minor 3rds .
Dominant 7th chord Chord V with a 7th added at the top.
Sequence A melody repeated up or down in pitch.
Counter-melody - A second melody that plays at the same time as another melody.
Modulate Moving to another key.
Chromatically an idea that moves up or down in semitones (playing every note, both
black and white).