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Section 15.2 Mozart, Eine kleine Nachtmusik, K. 525, II.

The second movement of Mozart’s Eine kleine Nachtmusik is a five-part rondo form (ABACA).

Let us examine the elements of music in the first section (the A section).

Figure 15.2.1.

Notice how Mozart expresses the various musical elements:

Harmony

The key is C major

Rhythm

The 8th note is most common rhythmic value, though the phrase begins with quarter-note values

Texture

The top two instruments are grouped together against a simple bass part

Articulation

Generally legato

Dynamics Soft
Register

Neither extremely high nor low

Table 15.2.2. A Section, Second Movement, Eine kleine Nachtmusik

Here is the beginning of the second section (the B section):

Figure 15.2.3. B Section, Second Movement, Eine kleine Nachtmusik

Here are the most noticeable differences:

Rhythm

8th notes are the most common rhythmic value, with some 16th-note runs

Texture

All four voices move in the same rhythm at the beginning of each subphrase

Articulation

Four staccato notes start each subphrase

Table 15.2.4. B Section, Second Movement, Eine kleine Nachtmusik

Now, look at the beginning of the next contrasting section (the C section):

Figure 15.2.5. C Section, Second Movement, Eine kleine Nachtmusik

The following elements are noticeably changed:

Harmony

This section begins in C minor

Rhythm

The accompaniment moves in 16th notes and the ornamentation of the second melody note (the turn) in the outer parts sounds as four 32nd notes

Texture

The middle two parts (Violin II and Viola) are paired together and the Violin I and Cello/Bass part engage in imitation

Articulation

The middle parts are played in a “separated” manner (more staccato than legato) and the motive in the outer voices starts with a staccato note

Table 15.2.6. C Section, Second Movement, Eine kleine Nachtmusik

Listen to how Mozart puts the entire form together, including transitional material to smooth out the changes from one section to another.

Figure 15.2.7. Formal Diagram of Second Movement, Eine kleine Nachtmusik