Paganini minuet (learn a new piece each week group)

Analyses of individual works for Classical Guitar and general discussions on analysis. Normal forum copyright rules apply.
Jack Dawkins
Posts: 82
Joined: Fri Jun 19, 2015 7:48 pm

Paganini minuet (learn a new piece each week group)

Postby Jack Dawkins » Tue Aug 18, 2015 8:05 pm

Here is my attempt at an analysis of the Paganini minuet mentioned in the learn a new piece each week group. It's not on Delcamp but can be found be searching for Two Minuets Sheet Music by Niccolò Paganini.

I don't claim to be an expert but it's a useful thing to do and there's no harm in putting it up on the forum in case it is of any use / interest to others.

Structure

Ignoring repeats (which I think is the done thing) this piece has a straightforward 16-bar structure which breaks down just as straightforwardly into 2 8-bar sections - so it's in binary form. The main cadences are found between bars 7 and 8 and bars 15 and 16. It is interesting to look at the first chord and the chords of resolution of the main cadences and see that these are I - V - I. This could be looked at as the basic structure of the piece.

Each section consists of two 4-bar phrases. The two phrases which make up the first section, although contrasting in harmony and melody, are similar in structure in that they have an eighth-note pickup. This means that the piece has an anacrusis, and also that the first phrase ends on the low E on the third beat of bar 3, with the next phrase beginning on the 3-and.

Essentially there is one harmony per bar - although there are variations in a couple of bars, these are probably best regarded as decorative rather than structural. They are short-lived and the harmony immediately returns to the basic harmony of the bar - in other words, they do not have any function of their own.

The piece is in triple time, although I think that is true of all self-respecting minuets.

Harmony

The key is A major and there are no modulations.

Bars 1 - 4

I (there is more than a hint of V in beat 3, but for the reasons given above this is best regarded as decorative)
I (same comment for beat 1)
V
I

Bars 5 - 8
IV (more decorative harmony here, but all over a D pedal and only after the basic harmony has been clearly stated - it is restated at the end of the bar)
I (again, there is some temporary decorative harmony - in particular there is a B/D double stop on beat 3 where both notes are exactly a tone away from the C#/E of the upcoming I chord, inviting a chromatic movement which gives rise to the accidentals)
I (the upcoming cadence is not onto I but onto V. In order to strengthen it, the leading tone of the dominant (D#) appears in the bass. Paganini has the bass line rise to D so that the D# can be part of a chromatic movement from D to E)
V

Bars 9 - 12
V7 (setting up a reassertion of the tonic so that we don't think we have modulated to the dominant)
I
V7
I

Bars 13 - 16
IV
I / V7 / I (for the reasons given above, the V7 is best seen as decorative rather than structural)
V7 without its root (or viio with dominant function, according to taste)
I

I can only sight read this very haltingly, but it seems as though Paganini does quite a bit with only three chords...
Last edited by Jack Dawkins on Wed Aug 19, 2015 6:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

2handband
Posts: 948
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2015 7:31 pm

Re: Paganini minuet (learn a new piece each week group)

Postby 2handband » Tue Aug 18, 2015 10:38 pm

Jack... are you gonna do this every week? That'd be awesome! As you say, this clearly illustrates what can be done with just primary chords. I don't entirely agree with your characterization of some of the changes as decorative only; if I was strumming rhythm on this I'd change to E in beat 3 measure 1. But I'm quibbling; nicely done and thanks.

Jack Dawkins
Posts: 82
Joined: Fri Jun 19, 2015 7:48 pm

Re: Paganini minuet (learn a new piece each week group)

Postby Jack Dawkins » Wed Aug 19, 2015 6:42 am

Pleasure - yeah could do some more, just have to see really. It would definitely be good to take a fairly simple piece every so often and have people weigh in on the analysis, or take turns to put one up. That does depend on the sheet being easy to find though, as well as interest levels.

rguitar
Posts: 24
Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2015 3:49 pm
Location: St. Thomas ON

Re: Paganini minuet (learn a new piece each week group)

Postby rguitar » Mon Aug 24, 2015 1:01 am

Jack Dawkins wrote:Here is my attempt at an analysis of the Paganini minuet mentioned in the learn a new piece each week group.


Can you tell us where this group is?

Jack Dawkins
Posts: 82
Joined: Fri Jun 19, 2015 7:48 pm

Re: Paganini minuet (learn a new piece each week group)

Postby Jack Dawkins » Mon Aug 24, 2015 4:53 pm

rguitar wrote:Can you tell us where this group is?

It's a thread in the Classical Guitar Classes subforum.

http://www.classicalguitardelcamp.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=95250&start=105

User avatar
Larry McDonald
Teacher
Posts: 1220
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 2:33 pm
Location: Milwaukee, Wi USA

Re: Paganini minuet (learn a new piece each week group)

Postby Larry McDonald » Tue Aug 25, 2015 12:47 pm

Well done.
If I could quibble on semantics...

Theorists usually reserve the term structure to refer to the system of pitch organization. In this case, it is the "Tonal Structure", as opposed to "modal structure", "aleatoric", "Schenker Graph", "12-tone structure", or "set-class structure". Most theorists would use the term "Form" for what you labeled as structure, and label the sections as A, B and so on.

In the Paganini analysis above, the form would be AB, (AAB with repeats), and [ab] [ab] [cd], at the phrase level. Paganini gives us a nice double bar to help us figure it out.

As an aside, an astute listener may hear the d section as a derivative/variation of the b section and label the form as [ab] [ab] [cb'] (pronounced as "b prime") at the phrase level. This suggests a favorite form of the common practice era, called a rounded binary form. If you ignore the repeats, then we get [ab] [cb']

Larry McDonald
Theory Prof. (ret.)
Dr. Lawrence A. McDonald, D.M.A., Art Kaplan Fellow
Author of The Conservatory Tutor for Guitar
2008 Michael Thames Cd/Br
Royal Conservatory Advanced Guitar Instructor
Royal Conservatory Advanced Theory Instructor

Jack Dawkins
Posts: 82
Joined: Fri Jun 19, 2015 7:48 pm

Re: Paganini minuet (learn a new piece each week group)

Postby Jack Dawkins » Tue Aug 25, 2015 7:12 pm

Rounded binary you say? Did not know that - thanks Lare.

Alms
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2016 8:40 am
Location: Kitchener-Waterloo Canada

Re: Paganini minuet (learn a new piece each week group)

Postby Alms » Wed Nov 23, 2016 9:10 am

Larry McDonald wrote:Well done.
If I could quibble on semantics...

Theorists usually reserve the term structure to refer to the system of pitch organization. In this case, it is the "Tonal Structure", as opposed to "modal structure", "aleatoric", "Schenker Graph", "12-tone structure", or "set-class structure". Most theorists would use the term "Form" for what you labeled as structure, and label the sections as A, B and so on.

In the Paganini analysis above, the form would be AB, (AAB with repeats), and [ab] [ab] [cd], at the phrase level. Paganini gives us a nice double bar to help us figure it out.

As an aside, an astute listener may hear the d section as a derivative/variation of the b section and label the form as [ab] [ab] [cb'] (pronounced as "b prime") at the phrase level. This suggests a favorite form of the common practice era, called a rounded binary form. If you ignore the repeats, then we get [ab] [cb']

Larry McDonald
Theory Prof. (ret.)


I had always wondered what was a precursor to sonata form and now, it seems. that I have stumbled upon the answer. Cheers and :merci: !
Almansa 457


Return to “Analysis of Classical Guitar Works”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: CommonCrawl [Bot] and 1 guest