Let's Analyze Another Piece! Part 2 of 2

Analyses of individual works for Classical Guitar and general discussions on analysis. Normal forum copyright rules apply.
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Let's Analyze Another Piece! Part 2 of 2

Post by stevel » Sun Aug 09, 2015 3:27 am

Part 1 of this thread can be found here:


We are still referring to the Adagio (Movement I) of a Sonata, Opus 22 (this is the 2nd of 3 Sonatas in the Opus) by Leonhard von Call, which can be found in Delcamp D04 on pages 42 and 43.

The first part of the analysis covered most of the first page (p. 42) up to through measure 16.

I'm going to pick it up in Part 2 at measure 17, right after the double bar.

But I'm going to do something a little different here. I'm going to abandon the Harmonic Analysis, and we're going to instead talk about FORM.

This is a Sonata.

A long time ago, in a musical style far far away, "Sonata" meant "sound piece". This was to make a distinction between it and a "Cantata" which was a "sung piece". Cantatas were a form of Vocal music (which later became a specific form) and Sonatas were a form of Instrumental music (which also later became a specific form).

Sonatas came in two flavors way back when: Sonata da Camera, or Chamber Sonata, and Sonata da Chiesa, or Church Sonata. The primary difference was the movement layout They evolved somewhat from the Baroque Dance Suite, which itself evolved from the "Dance Pair" (you may have played a "Dance" and "After Dance" pair before). The Dances were at first individual pieces combined into a Suite (you've probably encounter a Bach Suite or three) which initially had no set form.

Franz Josef Haydn is the composer considered to be the "Father of Classical Music" and it was he who served as a transitional figure from the Baroque period into the Classical period. He basically developed the String Quartet, Symphony, Concerto, and Sonata as we know them. These forms existed earlier, but were different, or were not standardized (even Haydn's early String Quartets are more like Suites).

Some of these forms evolved into the 4 Movement String Quartet and Symphony. But these are still basically "Sonatas" when you get down to it.

Others developed into the 3 Movement Concerto and Solo Sonata.

They are all basically Sonatas in form, some with elements of the "Church" type and others with elements of the "Chamber" type (though they also freely intermixed elements). But the word Sonata, by the Classical Period, had become associated with a Multi-Movement work for Solo Instrument, very often Piano (or Keyboard instrument, but other solo instruments are common, such as Guitar, Harp, Organ, etc.) or for a chordal instrument and one other solo instrument (Sonata for Piano and Violin, etc.). Other combinations are rare and specialized.

If we look at von Call's lifespan, we'll see he is a contemporary of Beethoven, so he's a Classical Period composer possibly transitioning to the Romantic.

So this Classical "Haydn-esque" form is the most likely form for a Solo Sonata, thought again, influences from all previous forms were certainly common.

The Classical Period Sonata had an interesting peculiarity: it became commonplace to write the first movement in a special form. Because of this, we call it "First Movement Form". Since the first movement was usually a fast tempo movement commonly marked "Allegro", we also call it "Sonata Allegro Form". This form is found in the first movement of Sonatas, Concerti, String Quartets, and Symphonies (and became such a huge part of the Classical style that other things like Preludes and non-first movements could be found in this form) which themselves are all basically "sonatas" so you'll also hear "Sonata Form".

Just know that "Sonata Form" in whatever shape the name takes applies not only to Sonatas, but many types of Classical (and Romantic) period works.

Now, there is a diminutive form called the the "Sonatina" which is simply "little Sonata". Sonatas are generally concert works (especially in the hands of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven). Sonatinas are more like diversions, salon pieces and home works, but also often meant to be instructional. They're typically shorter, less difficult to play, "lighter" in nature.

This von Call movement certainly fits that bill. It's short at only 2 pages and 40 measures. The same length (or shorter) than the famous Clementi Sonatinas for Piano.

In fact, it's not even an Allegro - it's an Adagio.

Does that mean it's not in Allegro Form? Not necessarily, but it doesn't mean it is (BTW, not all Classical Sonatas, 4tets, etc. have a Sonata Form first movement - most do, but by no means all).

Now, I've told you nothing about the actual Sonata Allegro Form. If you're serious about analyzing music, especially any of the larger CPP works, it's something you should know. Google it. Too much to go into here!

So here's the reader's digest version:

Sonata form has 3 sections: Exposition, Development, and Recapitulation. It presents 2 themes in the Exposition, one in the main key and one in a different key (usually Dominant or Parallel as discussed previously). The Development section takes ideas from the Exposition and inverts them, contorts them, combines them, puts through various modulations, and so on. The Recapitulation has a return of the two main themes in their original form, except it stays in the main key the whole time.

There are variations to this form, with introductions, codas, and so on, but that's the basic gist for now.

A Sonatina does sort of the same thing, but may only have one main idea, and the exposition may be vastly simplified.

But there's this basic idea of: Main Key - focus on some other Key - Return of Main Key.
Coupled with: Main Material - varied/some other Material - Retrun of Main Material.

Music Psychologists make a big deal that the return of the main material and the primary key happen at the same time.

Von Call's Adagio here does not really have the full characteristics of a Sonata Form. But it's also not any other type of typical form. It's *close* to Sonata Form, or we could say it's a "primitive" Sonata Form. And given the size and scope, despite the name, it's more like a Sonatina.

So with that in mind, next post...

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Re: Let's Analyze Another Piece! Part 2 of 2

Post by stevel » Sun Aug 09, 2015 3:44 am

Assuming this is a Sonatina style piece, one thing I know about them (or even primitive forms of Sonata Form) is that the "Development Section" often takes the form of merely a "focus on the Dominant".

VERY often this consists not of a Modulation to the key of the Dominant, but instead, the Dominant chord in the original Key, often paired with the 6/4 inversion of the Tonic chord (so, V7 and i6/4 in this case).

Scan through measure 17 through 24. What do you see?

It's basically a bunch of V7 and i6/4 chords in the Key of Am is it not?

This is a "Dominant Area".

It's "developmental" in that it takes an idea from m.8 and expands on it - repeating it, then building on the expanded part, ultimately slowing it down.

But this section (up to the double bar at m. 24) is "all about the Dominant Harmony".

In fact, you would be completely justified in putting a V7 under measure 17 and drawing a dotted line all the way through 24!

Notice there's nothing without an E Bass note!

In fact, in spots like this, sometime the i6/4 isn't even considered a chord at all, but a decoration of the V7 harmony.:

B - C - B
E - E - E

Do you see how the A and C dyad could be considered simply upper neighbors to the chord tones making them NCTs?

Now, they're long enough or isolated enough (like m. 23 and 24) to really be considered a "chord proper", but what analysts often do is parenthesize the numerals to show they're of weak harmonic function, like so

V7 (i6/4) V7

But that pretty much covers the Development Section. Obviously, there was another Direct Modulation from the key of C at the end of the Exposition, to the key of Am for the Development.

Note, I keep using those words, Exposition, Development, and will use Recapitulation, but they're not really those sections "proper" because this is not a Sonata Form proper - but rather than typing "Development-esque" and things like that, I'm sticking with the plain terms. Just understand these are "abbreviated" examples of what those sections are in a full blow Sonata Form.

And notice this section is in fact separated from the other sections with the double barlines.

Measure 25 is the Recapitulation - a return to the original material in the original key (though we were still in Am in the Development, we did have that aside to C in the Exposition).

You should have no trouble analyzing most of this, but there are a couple of spots I want to address in additional posts, so on to the next one...
Last edited by stevel on Sun Aug 09, 2015 4:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Let's Analyze Another Piece! Part 2 of 2

Post by stevel » Sun Aug 09, 2015 4:20 am

The "Recapitulation" begins at the double bar at Measure 25. This material is mostly familiar so you should have no trouble analyzing it. But there are a few subtle differences and variations, and some additional material, and some new things to learn!

In Measure 29, it doesn't look too hard - in fact, if you glanced at it you might have said it's i-V7.

On closer inspection though, you may have realized that that V7 chord has no E - and the Bass Note is an A!!!!

So what chord is this?


Dude, that's no kind of 7th chord I can figure. It's got 4 different notes like every good 7th chord should have.

Well, when this happens, you need to start thinking, "hey, is this a triad with a NCT?"

One thing you could do is play various sets of 3 notes and see if you can make a chord.

If you've done this enough or you made that assumption I at first pointed out, you'd notice the upper 3 notes make a chord - G#-B-D, but the bass note doesn't fit.

Important Fact:

Non Chord Tones can appear in the Melody and inner voices, and Bass as well!

This A note is called a "Pedal Tone". The name comes from Organ players playing a pedal - which is a low note, and holding it while they moved chords on top. We consider it a NCT.

However, we generally only analyze it as a NCT in chords where it's not a chord tone. Wait, what?

OK, The chords here are Am - ?/A - Dm/A - Am

They're all over an A Pedal Tone. But since A is part of an Am chord and a Dm chord, we don't mark it or call it a NCT for those chords (though it may still be called a Pedal Tone, which means our Development Section had a Dominant Pedal Tone (the low E) throughout, even though it was always a chord tone).

So only this one chord which looks like G#-B-D doesn't have an A in it, so we call the Pedal A the NCT (parenthesize and label) and give the Roman Numeral to the upper chord.

What's that?

Some of you may have said "E7".

We've been talking about chords with missing notes. But remember I said that a 7th chord usually has the Root, and only in real specific contexts does it omit the root. We could say that the Tonic Pedal A is replacing the root on both an E7 chord and Dm chord, it just happens to be a member of the D chord. If that's the case though, why didn't von Call put an E in the upper part. It was certainly reachable.

Maybe it's because he was a "lesser" composer and didn't write as competently as he could...But maybe it was an intentional choice.

At any rate, the most accurate info we have is that this could be called G#o over a Pedal Tone A (oh, we usually write "Ped. because we already use PT for Passing Tone). Calling it E7 over the Pedal Tone deserves a little more explanation, but it's not horribly far-fetched.

Now, Measure 31.

This is a tough one. Like the Pedal Tone bit, and omitted note chords that happen frequently in guitar music, this is something we also encounter quite a bit.

This is actually 2-part counterpoint, and it's a common layout - two parts moving in opposite directions, with an octave in the middle:


If you're familiar with the beginning of the Bach Bouree in Em from the Lute Suite, it starts similarly:


In 2-Part counterpoint, there is harmony in that two notes sound simultaneously, but there are not always identifiable chords. However, pieces written in CPP style in 2 -Part counterpoint are often not 2 parts imply harmony, but two parts *extracted* from a known or assumed harmony.

So we can take this Bach move and understand that the two E-G dyads "mean" a i chord. The F# is merely a Passing Tone between them (and as a single note doesn't really imply any chord in this context). There are instances where you'll find this pattern fully-fleshed out and be something like i-V6/4-i6 or vice versa, but we don't usually take it that far.

In this case, we have the same idea, with the notes staggered in time, B-D dyad with C passing in the middle.

But does it imply a chord here?

G-B-D, G#-B-D, or B-D-F? Is it bVII, viio, or iio?

Or is it a chord at all?

IMHO, even though you could make a case for it being viio or iio (the most likely in terms of functional harmony), there just simply isn't enough information or CONTEXT to identify these dyads as a specific chord.

In that case, we just leave it blank (and the ponder its existence on other levels ;-)

The rest of the piece should present no analytical difficulties you haven't already encountered, so I'm going to leave you to it. Measure 32 beat 1 has a chord that could have two interpretations, again with the chord tone or not situation. See if you can find it and figure out what either would be.

One last word about the form though:

Sonata Form is what we call a "two reprise" form, which means there are 2 primary sections, each repeated.

But, wait, you said Sonata Form has 3 sections, Expo, Dev, and Recap.

True, but when composers put repeats in they do it like so:

||: Expo :||: Dev || Recap :||

So the Dev/Recap is treated as a "unit". The Delcamp version does not include the repeats, but an earlier version I looked at did. They don't change the analysis but what it does tell us is that von Call was at least thinking in "Sonata Layout" when he composed this, and we are further justified in marking the Expo, Dev, and Recap where we did, because the original repeat bars confirm that thought process, even if this is not a full blown sonata form (now I think "juvenile" or "incipient" may have been better words than "primitive").

On a compositional note, I like how he took that idea in m. 8, that ended up being developmental, and used a similar idea for the final section, which is just the sort of pounding away at the V7-i cadence at the end - the "final flourish" so to speak you very often find at the end of pieces like this. This adds a bit of unity to the piece and kind of "rounds it out" nicely.

One quick note: Delcamp also put in a G natural in the last run of notes descending to the final measure. In the version I looked at it's G#. It doesn't change the analysis but given this, and the repeat bars, the issue of the Eb versus D# in a Bach analysis elsewhere on the site, one should understand that to do a very serious analysis one should look at multiple editions, especially original manuscripts and composer-approved editions, because modern editors often change things (as others have done in the past) for various reasons - space, readability, playability, and so on.

End of Part 2.

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Re: Let's Analyze Another Piece! Part 2 of 2

Post by tom2977 » Sun Aug 09, 2015 1:53 pm

Steve, Thanks for this.......just working my way through it now :) (after a quick refresher through your 1st analysis).

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Re: Let's Analyze Another Piece! Part 2 of 2

Post by stevel » Sun Aug 14, 2016 10:22 pm

I had a few questions about and references to this series that I'm going to bump them in hopes for more visibility.


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