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Thread: Piano Sonata no. 2: Progress Thread

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    Default Piano Sonata no. 2: Progress Thread

    So I have decided to write a piano sonata in A major. My main inspiring composer for this sonata is Mozart.

    I do have some difficulties writing the exposition of a sonata, more specifically the closing theme. Often I feel as though the closing theme should be shorter than any other theme but as I try to write the closing theme, it feels incomplete and once the exposition repeats, it feels jarring.

    So far I have the first theme down, not sure yet how I am going to transition to the second theme.

    Here is what the first theme looks like so far
    Piano Sonata no. 2-1.jpg

    And here is what it sounds like
    Piano Sonata no. 2.mp3

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    Senior Member Phil loves classical's Avatar
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    I think the rhythm to the melody for the first 3 bars should be varied a bit more. It sounds a bit mechanical. The scale runs remind me a lot of the Sonata in C K545. I think it's a good exercise though to get you to start exploring some techniques. The trill seems to go a bit for too long.
    Last edited by Phil loves classical; Sep-26-2018 at 20:24.
    "Forgive me, Majesty. I'm a vulgar man. But I assure you, my music is not.“ Mozart

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    So as always when I write a sonata, I get the first theme down fast but I have trouble with writing the second theme. I know I want the second theme to be in E major. And I want to have a bouncy feeling to the sonata which so far I have achieved using dotted rhythms and scales. Staccato would be a perfect addition as a second theme and would reinforce the bouncy feeling of the sonata. But I have no idea what to do as far as melody and harmony is concerned. I don't know why but I always reach a composer's block with the second theme.

    Here are the things I have thought about doing:

    • Melody in left hand(Too fugal in my opinion for this sonata, would do it though if I wanted to get across a feeling of uncertainty)
    • Alberti Bass with a twist(Would probably sound like I transposed the left hand, plus I can't do alberti bass at 120 bpm for all that long if it is 16ths(which it is in my sonata), otherwise I feel the burn in my hand)
    • Staccato(Bouncy, but how can I get expression out of it? It isn't as variable as legato is)

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    Hey, this is interesting. I can definitely sense the inspiration of mozart. Just try not to copy him too much, I can definitely hear traces of mozart's k. 545 sonata (the scales) . Also, I think you should just go along with what your mind is thinking, instead of telling yourself "I'm going to modulate to e major by the second subject" just go with the flow and write whatever comes down to mind. I used to do a lot of the planning and I never got any of my good ideas down because of how I was trying to "force" my music in one direction, instead of going for what's best. I do think it is a good start though. I do want to see the full length of this sonata.
    Last edited by lachlan1415; Oct-02-2018 at 14:18.

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    Default Not sure what key to have the closing theme in

    Okay so I looked at my 2 books of piano sonatas and I see this as far as the key of the closing theme(ending chord to be more specific) and the rest of the exposition:

    Composer First Theme Second Theme Closing Theme
    Haydn Tonic Dominant Equally likely to be in the tonic and the dominant
    Mozart Tonic Dominant Always in the dominant
    Beethoven Tonic Dominant Most of the time in the dominant but sometimes in the tonic

    This makes me wonder what key I should have the closing theme in. Since the second theme is in E major, this tells me to keep it in E major. But I don't really know if I should have that in E major. I mean my closing theme + the transition(which some might argue is part of the second theme) will probably be just as long as the first theme. My second theme is, at least currently only 7 measures long. There does come a point where if you stay in a key long enough, it gets tonicized and the original tonic is not the tonic anymore. With C major and C minor, this is nothing to really worry about. But with A major and E major, suddenly A major becomes the subdominant even though it is the original tonic and so you have to retonicize A major to make it not be jarring(plagal cadences from IV to I are not all that common, especially nowadays).

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    Classical (aka 1760-early 1800) closing themes are almost always in the dominant key. I personally have never seen one in the tonic. However, you live in the 21st Century. You can use any key you like.
    "Music in any generation is not what the public thinks of it but what the musicians make of it"....Virgil Thomson

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    Senior Member MarkMcD's Avatar
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    Hi Caters,

    The thing I noticed more than anything is that bars 3 to 8 seem to be almost exact copies of Mozart k545. I think it's fine to be influenced by other composers, most of us are, but I would try hard not to "copy" whole passages. I'm sure it wasn't a conscious decision to do that, but take a look at the k545 sonata right after the opening theme of the first movement and see what you think.

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    Pianists can use more than 4 fingers at once, you know.

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    Quote Originally Posted by E Cristobal Poveda View Post
    Pianists can use more than 4 fingers at once, you know.
    Yes, I know, its just whenever I am composing, because I have hands for which an octave is the longest interval that is comfortable, and a 9th is the longest interval I can reach, those are my limits. And while yes, I have written 10ths in my compositions before, unless the notes are on separate staves, I compromise by having 1 of the notes go down an octave or by having both notes come towards each other to make a 6th interval.

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