Form in Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas (XII) – No. 16, 1st Movement

The first theme group is a bit looser and can be divided into two parts as “presentation” and “continuation”. First ten bars can be seen as a main theme which reflects the character of the whole piece. It is repeated in F Major between bars 11 – 20. Until bar 30, it comes back to tonic with the help of some fragmented motives from the main theme. Thus, from the beginning until bar 30, this part can be named as presentation as it includes the main theme and its repetition in F. Between bars 30 – 45, there is a passage work which ends with a HC in tonic. This is the continuation part of main theme.

Transition begins with the material from main theme so that it is “Prime” based. It gradually starts to modulate to B Major. In bar 64, MC is achieved. There is a certain dominant approach with 4-4#-5 (of B Major) in bars 55, 59, 61, 63. The type of TR is “dissolving consequent”.

It is non-normative that subordinate theme is in mediant degree, namely in III. It starts in bar 66 and lasts until bar 73. It is a 8 bar period structure. This is repeated between bars 74-87 and it is in b minor. The melody is placed in the bass part and the 8 bar structure is expanded to 14 bar including secondaries and sequences. Until there, it is the initial part of S. The first PAC is in bar 88 and between 88 – 98, it is the medial part of S. Although there is PAC in 88, there isn’t any new subordinate theme between 88 – 98. Since it is the medial part, there are a lot of fragmentations, sequences and secondaries. Bar 98 is where the EEC occurs. The Closing includes only dominant – tonic resolutions.

The rotation type of development is “half-rotational”, since only pre-MC material is used. Throughout the development; G major, c minor, B flat major and d minor are used as developmental keys. Onset of the Development is first-level default because this part consists of the material of main theme. Thus, it is P based. Retransition is very normative as it stands on V.

Recapitulation starts with a difference. Bars 1 -10 comes again as a main theme but it is linked directly to the transition. The passage work section is omitted. The MC of recap is achieved as HC: VI. Subordinate theme first occurs in E major/minor. Later on, it is presented in the home key as expected. ESC is in bar 266 and between 266 – 276 is again the resolution of dominant – tonic.

Coda starts in bar 279 and it is based on primary theme; passage work and motives with dotted rhythms.


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