I Write The Music

Beethoven – Piano Sonata 23, Op.57 “Appassionata” (Color-Coded Analysis V2)

Posted in Uncategorized by Higher Density Blog on June 25, 2017


The Daily Beethoven

(Make sure “Annotations” is ON to see section labels)

Piano Sonata No.23 in Fm, Op.57 (‘Appassionata’)
1.Allegro assai @0:00
2.Andante con moto (attaca) @9:06
3.Allegro ma non troppo @15:33

Piano: Annie Fischer

(Version with Alfred Brendel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89hcfg…)

Note: at this time the annotations will not appear on mobile devices, so if possible please watch from a computer.

For more videos of this type see:
Color-Coded Analysis of Beethoven’s Music (INDEX):

Introduction to Sonata Form:

This analysis was assisted in large part by Donald Tovey’s “Companion to Beethoven’s Pianoforte Sonatas”.

My Analysis Cheat Sheet:
-SONATA FORM: Most common form, almost always in the 1st movement and often last movement of a work. The basic sequence is Intro, Exposition, Development, Recapitulation and Coda.
-EXPOSITION: Main theme(s) are presented, usually in the home key and then a modulated key
-THEME / THEME GROUP: musical “paragraph”. These can be broken down into 1 or more “tunes”. These are grouped according to key and end on cadences. The 1st Theme Group is in the home key. The 2nd Theme Group is in the dominant or other key.
-CLOSING/CADENCE SECTION: a theme group which closes the Expo or Recap (it follows the 2nd theme) and revives Theme 1 to provide closure.
-MODULATING BRIDGE/TRANSITION: material to get from 1 key/theme group to another, often w sequencing.
-DEVELOPMENT: free-form “working out”/”fantasia” section where earlier themes are subjected to variations and atomizations. Possibly a new theme is introduced (“Eroica”).
-RECAPITULATION: Repeat of the Expo, except that this section remains in the same key throughout and there can be theme variations from the initial Expo versions of themes.
-CODA: Follows the Recap, kind of a second development designed to finish off the work.
-SEQUENCING: repeating a phrase on different starting notes (keys)
-TERNARY FORM: 3-part form in A-B-A, usually a Scherzo or Minuet
-SCHERZO/MINUET: 1st pt. of a 3-pt. Scherzo form, usually AA.BA’.BA’ in 3/4 time. Lively.
-TRIO: Middle section of a Scherzo movement, slower, broader than the Scherzo section
-RONDO: Similar to Sonata form except that the Development is replaced by a new section and there is less transition material. A principal theme (A) alternates with contrasting themes (BCD…). (Ex.ABACABA.)
-FUGUE: form in which a subject(s) undergoes canonical permutations
-VARIATION: repeat of a theme with variation
-CADENZA: unaccompanied instrumental solo
-BINARY FORM: Structure in AB. 2-Part Song form.
(Disclaimer: I do not have a music degree, all of the above is purely from memory and observation)



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