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Analyse Mozart's treatment of the Theme and Variation for in the first movement of K331.

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Mark Smith 6RCS Analyse Mozart's treatment of the Theme and Variation for in the first movement of K331 Mozart uses the theme and variation form to great success in this first movement. In the theme, Mozart uses a very simple melody as the basis for his variations, providing great scope for the later variations. He uses a sequence technique in the first phrase of this melody (Figure 1). He also uses a pedal note of middle E which provides a firm basis for development in the variations, and this note appears in most of the variations (Fig 1). Mozart also uses V7 -> I cadences at the end of the second and final phrases which are another characteristic that appears in many of the variations to follow. Also, Mozart uses the form ||: A :||: B + two bar extension :||. This form is also carried over from theme to variations. In the first variation, Mozart relates the melody to the theme very closely, but the theme is somewhat disguised in a semi quaver rhythm. ...read more.


Mozart also decorates this variation with trills or acciacceturas in nearly every bar. In the second phrase, the pedal note disappears from the left hand as with the triplet rhythm, but is still present, only played by the right hand. In the third phrase, the pedal note returns to the left hand and Mozart continues the pattern of ornaments in the right hand. The third variation introduces a change in key, from major A, to the tonic minor, although as before, the metre, harmonies and cadences etc. are the same. In this variation, Mozart changes the texture of the music to polyphonic texture from homophonic as it was before. Mozart also introduces a piano technique known as the Alberti Bass (named after Domencio Alberti, its inventor), which is a feature used in some of the later variations. In this Alberti Bass, the pedal note is still apparent in the broken chord form. Mozart also uses the piano technique of using octaves in the right hand (Fig 4). ...read more.


This variation also uses a vast array of grace notes, especially towards the cadences. Also new in this variation is the use of first and second time repeats, which have not been uses elsewhere in the piece. The finale variation returns to an allegro tempo, with all the same other features as mentioned before, such as the metre, key and cadence etc. In the first phrase, the pedal note is still present in the broken chord Alberti bass in the left hand, but in the second phrase, the left hand changes to a series of arpeggios of the tonic (amongst others) chord. The same is said for the structure of the third phrase. As in the Adagio variation, first and second time repeats are used, but in this final movement, there is an eight bar 'coda' which acts as a summing up of the entire movement, using all the features of the previous variations and the theme, ending as usual on the tonic chord. ...read more.

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