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Brahms Op 119 No 1 Analysis Essay

Maybe we tal-, talk first about the form. Since I think it's fairly easy to hear.

We get a half.

Well, we're in G minor, so we know that

this is, interestingly, this is actually not easy to analyze.

You can only analyze this as a G minor chord once you get here.

But it's, it's close enough.

We'll talk about we'll talk about it in a second.

But we do get, if we're in G minor, then this is the five chord.

And it sounds like something's ending.

We get this rest.

So I'm going to say that this is some kind of half cadence.

[MUSIC]

And then we see here we get another half cadence.

[MUSIC]

And then we get a repetition.

Another half cadence. And then we, we look at this, and we say,

well, it's more or less like the second phrase.

But, we don't get a half cadence actually. We get five to one, both are in root

position and this note is a tonic, so [SOUND] we get a perfect,

authentic cadence.

And a perfect authentic cadence.

And those two things come together to form some kind of, to form a period.

And we looked at the phrases themselves,

and the material, the content of the phrases.

We saw that the second one was more or less a repetition where there's

a change at the end, and we get In

the cadence, so we call that a parallel period.

of, of, of the piece.

So this double parallel period can serve as a form for a small piece.

Like one of these small dances.

These dance forms like minuets and things like that.

Now, lets do some analysis.

Okay, we are in G minor and this is a little tricky.

Someone might say, wait, this is a B flat chord.

We have B flat and the D and a D here and before that,

well, it's just a D.

So, there is nothing to show a C, so we should call it a three chord.

That would actually be a mistake. It would make why is that.

Well, because it makes no sense for Beethoven, for a composer of that era, to

begin a piece on a three chord. So, we don't want to analyze it that way.

We, we hold off analyzing it. We look here.

This is even harder, actually. This isn't a chord at all.

We've got a root. It's probably some kind of 5 chord.

We get the fifth. We get the seventh.

This is some kind of relationship to a 5,

you know, maybe a 5-4-3 chord, a

passing. It's a passing seventh chord.

You can probably analyze it that way, but we'll come, again, we'll come back

to this one in a bit, and I'll talk a little bit about it.

And then we get here, and we see we get the G minor chord.

And then the, the D major chord in the first conversion, or the dominant chord.

Tonic and dominant.

And we go back and we say well, it doesn't sound like a three chord.

So how do we analyze this? This is kind of a weird situation,

where we'd actually analyze this as a one

chord in first inversion. [SOUND] Even though

we do not have a, a root, the chord.

We get a third above it and we get an augmented sixth above it.

Some kind

of augmented sixth chord has got

three notes, a third above and an

augmented sixth above it's an Italian

augmented sixth [SOUND] to five.

Okay, let's go back to this chord and just fill it in.

I'd mentioned that, you know it's, it's a, it's a little bit like this.

Where we don't really get everything complete.

We don't get the third, which is important.

We get the root. We get the fifth.

We get the seventh.

But it has enough traits of the five, four, three

chord to write in that it's a five, four, three.

So, again, it, this is a kind of exceptional situation.

But but exceptions do happen.

And, again, sometimes harmony is hinted at rather than stated fully.

I also just

want to very briefly talk about this. It's sort of an additional thing.

This is actually a harmonic progression.

This is what I call the Passacaglia progression,

because you find this all the time in,

in Baroque Passacaglia's, in ground bases and things like that.

This is kind of continuous variation form that

existed, was, was quite popular in the Baroque era.

You find it less in Mozart's time.

The most famous example, actually, in the 19th century, is

probably from Brahms, and the fourth movement of his Fourth Symphony.

But this was a quite common progression

and you'll find composers referencing it particularly Beethoven.

Actually there's a very famous set of 32 variations by, for piano

by Beethoven which uses this progression in a much more elaborated way.

Anyway that's kind of a tangential thing.

But I, I did want you to know that this is another progression that you can use.

And here what Beethoven has done is basically substituted

out the four and first inversion for the

Italian sixth four the Italian augmented sixth chord.

One, one of the nice things about

parallel, double parallel periods is well, if you

analyzed a bit of it here, then you probably analyzed a bit of it here, yeah.

Because this is the third phrase.

The first phrase and the third phrase should more or less be the same.

And all you really need to do is double check your work.

So let's, let's just go through real quick and make sure that it's

all looking the same.

the only other thing that we have here is this as a non-chord tone.

Which you can, well, you might analyze this as a seventh,

and throw in, rather than saying 5, 6, just say 5,6,5.

I don't like that nearly as much as just calling it

It really doesn't have the effect of a seven so I wouldn't analyze it that way.

There are probably people out there

in the world, in fact I'm certain of

it, who would disagree with me and that's fine.

That's what that's what people who do theory do.

They disagree with each other about you know,

whether or not that's a seventh chord, so.

But, but, well my feeling is that it

makes more sense to analyze it as an appoggiatura.

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