MUSI 112: Listening to Music

Lecture 11

 - Form: Rondo, Sonata-Allegro and Theme and Variations (cont.)


In this lecture, Professor Wright prepares the students for the upcoming concert they will attend, which will include pieces by Mozart, Brahms, and Beethoven. He discusses each of the pieces that will be on the program, paying special attention to form. Additional classical pieces are used to supplement the discussion of theme and variations and rondo form in the concert pieces. The lecture concludes with an example of rondo form found in a piece by the contemporary popular artist Sting.

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MUSI 112 - Lecture 11 - Form: Rondo, Sonata-Allegro and Theme and Variations (cont.)

Chapter 1. Introduction to the Concert Program [00:00:00]

Professor Craig Wright: Okay, let me just check the volume — sounds okay, let’s get started. This week we’re going to continue our discussion of musical form, and we’re going to fold that discussion inside of the preparation for the concert, which is when? Saturday. And it is where? Battell Chapel. It should be on the sheet there, and it’s at 8:00 p.m. And we’re going to have the Saybrook Orchestra perform for us. Today we’re going to talk about theme and variations, and one of the pieces that’s on that concert. And then on Thursday, we’re going to have the conductor and several of the soloists come in and talk to us about the difficulties of this particular concert and get us alerted to the sort of the thing that we should be on the lookout for as reviewers.

We will be continuing with this, of course, in sections this week. And when you come to lecture next time, we will give you what I call a prep sheet — a sort of guide to all three pieces that are going to be performed. And then when you go to section, you will get a sheet having to do with how you write a review. It’s a whole list of sort of “do’s” and “don’t’s” in writing a review. Those of you that are in the Monday section: we will work this out in advance. We’ll talk about that on Thursday, but you may be encouraged to come to an earlier section, and if that doesn’t work out we’re going to re-form those Monday sections in a way that will work for you as well. I know there are a couple of students also that can’t be here this weekend. It’s inevitable that that’s the case. There will be a makeup concert scheduled at a later date so don’t worry about this, but do keep coming because the principles involved in writing a review for this particular concert are identical to whatever concert you attend. Any questions about that before we get started? Okay.

If not, let’s go ahead with the concert program. It’s kind of fun. I started with this way early last August, arranging this. What I wanted to do was get a concert coming in the middle of the term because I think you’re ready now to go at this serious-material concert in the middle of the term performed by an undergraduate orchestra in which the program would be user-friendly — would be the kinds of things that we had been working with. So I contacted a couple of ensembles, and the Saybrook group, 1) had the best program and 2) seemed to be quite responsive in getting back to me about some of the things that we might do. And indeed one of the pieces, the Brahms that we’re going to talk about, I suggested that they do because I needed — for teaching purposes in here — I needed a good theme and variation piece. And I’ve got one in the Beethoven, but it’s not quite as clear cut as this particular one.

So, as you can see, we have three pieces on this concert. I hope you all have the sheet there. They should be listed: the overture to The Marriage of Figaro by Mozart. This is an overture, an opening to his opera The Marriage of Figaro. And good news here: that this spring the Yale Opera Company, an undergraduate opera company, will be performing The Marriage of Figaro, and it’s an absolutely delightful opera. It’s to die for. Not only is it lots of fun and funny, but it happens to be in terms of the craftsmanship involved arguably the greatest opera ever written. So we’re fortunate to have it here and you’ll get a preview of this, this Saturday, with the overture that we will hear.

Then we will go on to a piece by Johannes Brahms. Anybody know anything about Brahms? There are interesting characters in the history of music. Wagner: he might have been an “SOB” but nonetheless, he was interesting. Mozart is endlessly fascinating. Bach is interesting in his own way, Beethoven — sort of the prototypical romantic genius, very interesting. I can’t say that Brahms’s person — personal life was all that interesting, so maybe we’ll just forget about it. We’ll just say that he was born in Hamburg, Germany, and he died in Vienna, and I may have put his dates on your sheet there, but he is, of course, one of the “three Bs.” Who are the other two in the history of music, of course? Bach and Beethoven. I once asked in a quiz in here who are the “three Bs” of music, and a student answered, “Bach, Beethoven, and Haydn.” I was very depressed for the rest of the day.

But Brahms indeed is the third B here so we don’t want to forget about him. He’s a very serious composer. He takes everything very seriously. I think I put on your sheet there — did I or did I not? — the kinds of things that he wrote. Yes, I did: four symphonies, two piano concertos, a violin concerto, many overtures, many songs, much great chamber music. If you’re a violinist and you get rather advanced, you can play the beautiful, beautiful Brahms violin sonatas. If you’re a cellist and you get reasonably advanced, you can play the beautiful cello sonatas. So he wrote a lot of really great chamber music. Oddly, he wrote no program music — and we’ll talk about that a little bit later on, what program music is — and he wrote no opera — well, so a little bit different, very much sort of heavy-duty instrumental music.

Chapter 2. Analysis of Theme and Variations as a Form in Brahms’s Composition [00:05:20]

Well, let’s talk about this composition. It will not open the piece. It will be the second on the concert. It won’t open the concert. It’ll be the second piece — a set of variations on a theme by Joseph Haydn. Well, the theme probably isn’t really by Joseph Haydn, but when Brahms got it, everybody thought it was by Joseph Haydn. It’s probably just a religious folk song in honor of Saint Anthony, but that’s neither here nor there. The shape of this song, or theme, that Brahms is working with here is one that we’re very familiar with. Now instead of putting A B C B — I could have done that up here — I’m going to flesh this out a little bit. We’re going to call this Antecedent, Consequent, Extension, Consequent. But it’s the same form that we saw in the Beethoven “Ode to Joy” so it’s a familiar organization for a musical theme — opening, closing, extension, and then closing again, and in this particular set of variations Brahms will do this, which of course is our — what sign again? Repeat sign. So he’s going to repeat each of these two sections. Actually, Beethoven did that to some extent in the “Ode to Joy” too. So he’s got this very straightforward theme with that particular form. Let’s listen to the theme, and we’ll try to pick up where the antecedent concludes, and where the consequent begins. Oh, and before that, we could plug in other information. What’s the meter? Ask yourself as you listen what’s the meter of this, what’s the mode — major or minor? What is the bass doing, what string technique is the bass employing here?

[music playing] Okay. That’s the consequent. Now he’s going to repeat it. [music playing] Here’s the antecedent. [music playing] Here is the consequent, [music playing] extension, [music playing] rising melodic sequence. [music playing] Now he’s going to bring it back down — descending melodic sequence [music playing] and the consequent. [music playing] Okay. Let’s pause. We’re just going to pause it there. At this point, what he does is take that [sings], that tonic pitch, and extend it for a long period of time. And it’s down in the bass; it’s being held. This is a device that derives from organ technique where an organist would just put his foot or her foot on a particular key and just hold it for a long time so we call it “pedal point.” So what Brahms is doing here is sort of extending this tonic harmony by means of a pedal point. So let’s listen to this, [music playing] [sings] — but now we have got to repeat I believe [sings] so we’re back to the extension, [music playing] going up the sequence, now back down, [music playing] and here is the pedal point. [music playing] Okay. So that’s the theme. It’s rather straightforward and really quite lovely. The solo instrument there of course was an oboe, solo oboe there.

So now we’re going to go on. We’re not going to go through all these variations on your sheet. What about these timings here? Can you come in with a stop clock and have your — or watch or it set in a way that at two minutes and nineteen seconds you expect the first variation to come in? Is that going to work? Oscar, why won’t that work?

Student: Because a conductor might interpret things —

Professor Craig Wright: A conductor might interpret things his or her own way. We are going to have both a male and female conductor on Saturday night, so yeah, exactly, because different conductors have different ideas about tempo. Brahms would write “allegro assai” or something like that. It’s “rather fast,” but how fast is rather fast? So there are not precise indications so these times are approximate here but they give you a sense of when things might happen. So we’re going to go on now to variation five, I believe, which is at eight minutes and thirty-six seconds or an approximation thereof, and here we’re going to give you maybe the most difficult of all the variations for the orchestra to play. It’s very disjunct rhythmically. They’re not all together. It’s very contrapuntal. Counterpoint is always harder to play in an orchestra than homophony because every — we’ve got all these things that have to be coordinated. So let’s listen to this. If things seem muddled and unclear in a performance of this piece, my guess is it’s — it may well happen here, but let’s listen just to a little bit to show you how difficult and how far away from the theme Brahms can go.

[music playing] Okay. So we’ll stop it there. So it’s hard for me even to get — in terms of the rhythm there — to be actually sure where the beat is because there’s so much syncopation. I think that’s a very fast one-two with a triple subdivision underneath, but again the point there may be, “Gee, I didn’t remember hearing — ” [sings]. “Where’d that theme go? That was hard to hear.” Well, he was varying it so much that he’s pretty much totally disguised the theme at that point.

Let’s go on now to listen to a little bit of variation seven at 11:03 or thereabouts. This is my favorite variation, but let’s listen to a bit of it and see if you like it too. [music playing] And there’s the A section. [music playing] Here comes C, [music playing] back to A. [music playing]

Okay. Let’s pause it there. Now what am I doing up here? What is this? Well, what I’m trying to do is indicate what we call a “compound meter.” It’s one of these where you basically have a two, but you have a triple subdivision, and the conductors if it — if that two is slow enough — might go “one, two, three, four, five, six,” “one, two, three, four, five, six,” so it’ll be interesting to see. Maybe we should ask the conductor on Thursday how he or she — I forget who is conducting exactly which pieces here — how he or she is going to conduct that, whether he’s going to do it [sings], a very slow two like that, or are we going to really show the subdivisions. If he’s showing the subdivisions, that’s probably a suggestion that maybe he doesn’t have — or she doesn’t have quite as much confidence in the orchestra and wants to really show that beat very clearly rather than with — working with a very experienced group where you can just kind of give the large patterns and they’ll be able to put it all together.

We are now at this spot. We’re going to have the extension, and it’s kind of fun to watch what Brahms is doing here. Brahms is obsessed with rhythm and it drives you nuts when you’re a performer of this stuff. One, he is obsessed with variation; and two, he’s obsessed with rhythm. He will change things even when he doesn’t need to change things. I remember accompanying my last child in the Brahms Cello Sonata [in E minor] and I would have to continually change hand positions for no good reason, which is kind of arbitrary — that he wanted maybe just a slightly different sound whereas the sound before, that Beethoven would have been satisfied with, and Mozart would have been satisfied with, wouldn’t suffice for him.

So, he’s obsessed with variation and he’s obsessed with rhythm, and as we listen to this passage we will see the basic “one, two, three, four, five, six,” “one, two, three, four, five, six,” and then suddenly he will change it, “one, two,” “three, four,” “five, six,” “one, two,” “three, four,” “five, six,” “one, two,” “three, four,” “five, six,” emphasizing this way. That in music is called hemiola. There’s probably some kind of Greek root there having to do with twos and threes. I’m not really sure, but as you can see we’ve got — what we had was, in effect, two units of three. Now we’ve got three units of two. I remember in Leonard Bernstein — I don’t know whether it’s West Side Story or not, [sings]. What is that from?

Student: West Side Story.

Professor Craig Wright: Is it from West Side Story? Okay. So that’s a good example of hemiola too. I think it’s called “America” or something like that. So that’s what hemiola is — when you’re rolling in one of these and you suddenly shift to the other, back and forth. So let’s listen to this lovely six become three groups of two. [music playing] — one, two, three, four, five [six], one two, three, four, five, six, one, two, three, four, five, six, one. Let’s do that again. It took me a while to find the sixth beat there. So go back and — a little before. [music playing] So here is E. [music playing] — three, four, five, six, one, two, three, four, five, six, one, two, three, four, five, six, and then he goes back, four, five, six, one, two, three, four, five six. Okay. Well, that’s just a little rhythmic filip there with Brahms, but it’s the kind of thing that keeps interest in his music.

Now we’re going to go on to the last variation, and it’s an interesting one because it’s got two things going on here. He’s got a theme and then he’s got what we call an ostinato in music. Anybody remember — I think we’ve bumped into this term before — what an ostinato is? What does an ostinato do? Roger.

Student: [inaudible]

Professor Craig Wright: Good. That’s it exactly — from the Italian obstinare, obstinate — and it just repeats the same phrase over and over and over again. So what he’s got here repeating, oddly, is in the bass. [plays piano] There’s his tonic. [plays piano] And that just keeps repeating over and over and over, above which we have a very distant variation of the theme. It doesn’t sound like the theme very much, so let’s listen to the ostinato and this highly varied theme up above. [music playing] Can you hear the bass? [sings] [music playing] Let’s pause it there. Notice also — [sings] What’s he throwing in against his basic beat? [sings] What — what’s that? We’ve talked about it before. We’re coming on [sings] one, two, one and two and one and two and [sings]. What’s that? Triplets? Okay? So we talked about that before. So here he’s making this more complicated rhythmically by not only using hemiola and syncopation, but also threes against twos simultaneously. He’s throwing in some triplets in the melody up above.

Okay. Let’s continue just a bit more. [music playing] So at this point you say, “What the heck happened to my theme? I — ” [sings] “I don’t remember that at all. I’ve — ” We’ve sort of lost track of that as this ostinato bass keeps grinding away underneath. But gradually what he does is take that ostinato and move it up in to the upper part of the register of the orchestra and then gradually make this transform back into the theme, sort of magically transform itself back into the theme.

[music playing] It sounds very confused, but if you listen to the upper register you can hear the — [music playing] — and then [music playing] the theme is coming back in the upper woodwinds, [music playing] on pedal point. Okay. So now you think the piece is over, slowing the tempo way down, [music playing] the sound diminishes, could end it right here. [music playing] And that last little bit at the end, of course, is called the —

Student: Coda.

Professor Craig Wright: Coda, right. Okay? So he — once again with theme and variations if you don’t give the audience a coda, they’re expecting the next variation to begin. So you got to throw in that coda so that everybody knows, hey, that really was the end — no fooling.

Questions about that? So that’s Brahms’s Variations on a Theme by Haydn and it’s — I can’t say it’s a beautiful piece but it’s a very serious piece but it’s a good piece for you. This is a very serious group this year. I’m impressed with the seriousness with which you show up here and that you take this I — sometimes I see that you’re actually much more interested in the classical stuff that we’re doing than in the pop stuff, which is not always the case over the years, working with Yale undergraduates. Okay. A question. Yes, Daniel.

Student: Is his variation theme always on an A B C B?

Professor Craig Wright: Yes. One — however disguised it is, how — the question is: is the framework of the theme always this A B C B business? No matter how far he goes melodically from the original pattern and how complex in terms of counterpoint and rhythmic permutations he becomes, it still is dropped within this same framework of the A B C B — although admittedly it’s pretty difficult to hear sometimes. Yeah, David.

Student: Michael.

Professor Craig Wright: Michael. Sorry.

Student: That’s what Brahms [inaudible]

Professor Craig Wright: That — I — that is just with this piece here. You can work with other composers, Rachmanioff’s Variations on a theme of Pagainif, for example where the length of the variations will become very different and it’ll be — it won’t be sort of, as I like to say, boxcar-like as this arrangement. This is still boxcar-like even though it’s very diversified in terms of what’s put in and on those boxcars. Two good questions there. Thanks. All right.

Chapter 3. Introduction to the Rondo [00:24:55]

Having finished theme and variations for the moment, let’s go on to talk about rondo, r-o-n-d-o, rondo. Is that really true? Well, it goes by a couple of different names. The English call it rondo form. The Germans call it rondo form and Mozart wrote — and I’ve looked at a lot of his autographs — wanted to write rondo and he spelled it r-o-n-d-o. Si nous allions en France, on y va dire “rondeau” — “C’est une rondeau, monsieur” — but if you go to Italy they would call it the “ritornello.” Locciamo ritornello. I love — these Latinate languages are so wonderful, aren’t they, the way they play with the vowels — ritornello.

So it’s the same idea. A rondo, a rondeau, and a ritornello, it’s the same principle. And oddly the principle develops right out of the thing that we were talking about and that Frederick introduced us to — the idea of verse and chorus. Because what’s involved here is really one musical concept — one big theme coming back again and again and again. And this goes all the way back to the Middle Ages where they would have soloists singing new verses and then everybody would sing the chorus, and the thing that we all remember is the chorus. That’s the big-ticket item. That’s the thing that everybody is doing. So that’s the thing that keeps coming back again and again and again. So this, in an odd way, I think is the easiest of these forms to remember.

If you hear some music where you get music and then something else and then hit in the face with that same music again, then something else, and then you get hit in the face with that same music again and then something else and then the same music again that’s probably rondo form. And you can give it these different names in different languages but the idea is the same and as I suggest it’s primordial. I think on your sheet to show you how primordial it is, I even gave you the text of a rondo by Guillaume Du Fay (1397-1474) that goes all the way back in to the fifteenth century. We don’t have to go back that far and you can see we’ll end up today with a rondo by Sting so this has been around for a long time — this particular form.

Let’s — yeah — have an introduction to it by listening to a reasonably well-known piece by Jean-Joseph Mouret, who was a composer in residence at the court of King Louis the Fifteenth at Versailles, and in Paris, in the early years of the eighteenth century. You probably know this music because for years it was the background theme of the introductory material for “Masterpiece Theatre” on public television. So let’s listen to a bit of this. And let me take this material off and we’ll chart here and I’ll ask you what the meter of this is — what the meter — and how many measures of our refrain — our main theme, what we’ll call “A” here — how many measures we have in our theme.

[music playing] Two. Okay. [music playing] Okay. Let’s stop it there. So what’d you think about that? What’s the meter? Well, I kind of gave that away. Sometimes when you listen to music you can’t stop yourself. It’s like the end of “Doctor Strangelove.” Did you ever see that movie? So yeah, it’s a piece in duple meter. How many measures did we have in our theme? How many measures did we count there? Well, listen to it — let’s listen to it again, right back to the beginning I guess, Lynda. [music playing] So what do you think? Eight? All right. Let’s put eight up here and let’s listen again now. Just continue, please. [music playing] And we’re going to stop it there. We had how many there?

Student: Eight.

Professor Craig Wright: Eight again. So everything is always fours and eights in music? No, not exactly. If you start — we’re counting measures there in the Brahms. His theme sometimes has five measures in those sections, but this one happens to be different and more common — eight plus eight, and actually in reality here this is just slightly different than the first eight. The ending of it is slightly different from the first eight. So there we are. We’ve got our refrain or our theme in place, our big A idea. Now let’s go on to the next material. [music playing] Let’s stop it there. How many bars did we have there? Well, eight again. Okay? So we could call the — , [sings] a different sort of rhythm there. We could call this a B idea or we could even call it an X, the — something different, and that lasted for eight bars. Back it up just a couple of — Lynda if you would, please, so we can get back in to that B and then we’ll go on to the next A.

[music playing] That’s okay. [music playing] So here we are with our B. [music playing] Okay. Let’s stop it there. So what happened to our A this time? How long was it? It was still eight. Did we get it again, though? No. We got just one statement of it. Why didn’t we get it again? Well, maybe he didn’t need to give it to us again. Ever watch television commercials when they first come on, and then what happens to these commercials a couple of months later? What do they do? [inaudible] Yeah, they shorten them. They’ll run a sixty-minute version of it, then a — sixty minutes. That’d be interminable. A sixty-second version, then a thirty-second version. You psychologically — subliminally, you’ll — you’re filling in the missing information. So keep an eye out for that kind of thing, and composers do that too. They know it, well, we’ve heard this a fair amount. Well, we’ll give the psychological force of the whole thing but really just give it to them in half. Okay. [music playing] Okay. Here we got to count now. [music playing] Two, two, three, two, four [two]. [music playing] So let’s pause there. How long was that section?

Student: Twenty?

Professor Craig Wright: Twenty. Yeah, twenty bars there. It was a long run of other material. And then as you can hear here our A theme is coming back. Let’s see if we get it repeated. Just continue. [music playing] Was there a coda there? No. How did this particular group of performers make the piece sound as if it were ending? Daniel or Angela is it? Yeah.

Student: [inaudible]

Professor Craig Wright: He retarded — [sings] — slowed it way down, so you know, that’s another way of getting a sense of end here rather than throwing on some extra bricks to say the thing has concluded harmonically.

Chapter 4. Rondo in Vivaldi’s Spring Concerto and Mozart’s Horn Concerto [00:33:58]

All right. So that’s one rondo. Let’s go on to a more sophisticated rondo. We’re going to go on to one by Vivaldi here. Now this is in ritornello form as you’ll see when you read the textbook, but the principle is the same. We have a theme that keeps coming back again and again and again, and you all know this theme. You’ve probably heard it at Starbucks or Au bon Pain eight zillion times. Right? Anybody sing it? Anybody remember what the Vivaldi “Spring Concerto” sounds like? Okay. Angela’s on a roll this morning so nice and loud. Don’t be shy there.

Student: [sings]

Professor Craig Wright: Good. Okay. [sings] Then we have a second idea, [sings] so here it’s kind of our main theme here, really kind of two ideas, A and B, but we’re going to just for the sake of argument here just call this “big A” here. Okay. So that’s the theme so let’s listen to a bit of this. Well, no. We don’t even have to listen to this because Angela has given us the ritornello. So let’s go on to the first X here. We’ve got something else coming in, and it’s Vivaldi’s attempt to write birds chirping away on a beautiful spring morning. So let’s listen to the birds here. [music playing] After the birds chirp, we get our A coming back so let’s listen to our A come back here. [music playing] Okay. So now we’re taking a walk through a beautiful forest in this spring day and we see a babbling brook and the brook is foaming, surging away, so that’s what we’ve got here. [sings] [music playing] So what was that that we just heard? [sings] Was that something else or was that our ritornello? Jerry, nice and loud.

Student: [inaudible]

Professor Craig Wright: Okay. That was my next question. You’ve jumped to it. So it was the ritornello. And my next question is: but what was different about that ritornello? Well, the first time we had it [sings]. Now we’re getting [sings]. It’s in a lower key so we’ve had a modulation. This is actually down on the dominant. We don’t need to know that. We don’t need to know whether it’s tonic or dominant, but I think it would be good if we heard that as just a little bit different. It’s lower, maybe a little darker than the brighter sound up above. So we had that and now let’s see what happens. Doesn’t a storm come up and sort of threaten us here in the beautiful forest? [music playing] Lots of tremolo, lots of agitation, [music playing] lots of uncertainty. [music playing] Now what happens? [music playing]

Okay. We’ll stop there. Yes, that was our ritornello coming back — our theme coming back — but how was it different? Okay. Yeah, it was in minor. [sings] [plays piano] So it had changed key again. And again, we don’t need to know what key it went to. If you were a betting man in Las Vegas or a betting woman in Las Vegas, what would you say it went to? The relative minor, because about half of the time that’s what they do. And indeed in this particular case it went just three half steps down, to the relative minor, but hearing that it went to the minor is all we’re after here. So this was in a minor key here and then on it goes. We needn’t play this out to the end. It gives you a sense of how ritornello form can inform this particular rondo.

Let’s turn to another one by Mozart here. Yeah, I think we’ve got time for that. Take this off. So it’s a horn concerto by Mozart written in the eighteen seventies, and we’re just going to start it out here and we’re going to hear the first theme. [sings] It’s the basis of Listening Exercise twenty-six, which we’ll get to in a week or so. [music playing] Okay. Let’s stop there. Why is this an easy theme to remember? Because it’s full of [sings]. It’s a lot of notes right on the same pitch, [sings] and it actually starts dominant [sings] and sort of goes along like that, so we keep a mental graph of this with our X’s. Now, in a second — and then the orchestra repeated this. Then in a second, the B theme is going to come in and it’s going to be very different. [sings] What’s that? Arpeggio. Okay? So instead of using repeated pitches, we mark the B section of this by the use of lots of leaps here. So we’re going to have lots of space between our Xs. [sings] And then it’s going to have a couple of different motifs in here, but they’re all very skippy; they’re all very disjunct. And it’s these disjunct leaps that mark the B section. So let’s just continue. [music playing] More jumps. [music playing] [sings>

Now listen to the bass here. We’ve got another pedal point, [sings] sitting on the dominant, [sings] [music playing] What’s this? [music playing] This is our theme A coming back. [music playing] Okay. We’re going to stop it here. So here we are at this particular juncture. Notice: each time the French horn plays the theme; then the orchestra repeats it. Now as we go in to this section we’ll get a new theme. It’s C and it will be marked by an interesting development.

[music playing] What’s happened to the mode? [music playing] So what happened to the piece there? [plays piano] Changed to minor — so we’re moving fast here. We’re doing all this in just one hearing. So there we are — our C section is marked by minor. So let’s continue. [music playing] Rising sequence here, melodic sequence. [music playing] Now falling sequence. [music playing] Now a step lower [music playing] and a step lower yet again [music playing] and then A snakes in, [music playing] repeated by the orchestra [music playing] and here come our jumps, so we are back to B. [music playing] A little deceptive cadence there. [music playing] Let’s pause it right there. Sing the next pitch. [singing]

Not only [sings] but that somebody started singing [sings]. You know what’s happening next. He’s set you with this big, long dominant pause [sings] and off it goes. [music playing] Now this we — we have had our A and the orchestral repeat of it, but we haven’t heard this kind of stuff before. What would you imagine’s going — what is this we’re listening to now? Coda, I’m moving things along here, so we have a coda and notice that down — I forget the particular key. [plays piano]

And Mozart is working through the “Duke of Earl” harmony once again in this particular section. So let’s listen to a bit of that. [music playing] And this is just filler, arpeggiatic filler here. [music playing] So that’s our coda again to show us that the piece is at an end. You can end your rondo in a couple of ways, but the point here is: notice the form that has been created by Mozart and again, it is timeless. I think we have time now to show a slide, and Jason isn’t here today. I wanted him to do this. I think I can turn this on myself though, and we’re going to listen to —

Chapter 5. Rondo Form in Sting’s Music and Conclusion [00:45:16]

[music playing]

Okay. So let’s stop that just for a moment. What do I have up here on the board? Anybody ever seen this before? Anybody been there? Where would you imagine it is? In France at the Chateau de Chambord, C-h-a-m-b-o-r-d. I took this leaning out of a bus. And you can see over on the left, we have one idea, the A idea, contrasting idea, return to the A idea, a largely contrasting idea here in the middle, return to your central concept, a contrast here that matches this contrast over there, and then the central idea at the end. It’s in — exactly in one of these palindromic, A, B, A, C, A, B, A form — the same thing that you get here in the Mozart horn concerto and the same thing that Sting and the Police have programmed into their particular rondo. You’ve got the sheets on this. Maybe I’ll turn the lights back on ‘cause we don’t need to see that anymore.

So let’s listen to — we — I’ll just tell you we’ve got this initial idea. [plays piano] Where is he — what key is he in? A — [plays piano] Once again I, VI, IV, V, I, — “Duke of Earl” stuff, but interestingly enough, here [plays piano] — half the time he doesn’t come back. [plays piano] He goes [plays piano], which is what? A deceptive cadence! [plays piano] So he alternates here between authentic cadences and deceptive cadences. So we’ll listen to a little bit of it and if we run out of time then we’ll stop. [music playing] There’s the VI, IV, V. There’s the VI deceptive cadence. [music playing] I, VI, IV, V, I. [music playing] Yeah, we gotta stop it here or the copyright people will be all over us.

Then it goes on to the B section, “Oh, can’t you see,” and for that we have a different chord, [plays piano] “That you belong to me, my poor heart breaks,” [sings]. Okay. We can continue to play now. [music playing] That’s this section. [music playing] All right. Let’s move it up to the next A. I want to get to C. Tell you what. Go straight to C. This is pretty cool what he does here. He’s in this particular key [plays piano] and he gives us this sound, [plays piano] kind of a shocking chord change right in the middle of the piece. It’s kind of what we would call a flat seventh degree. Let’s see if we can hear this tonal shock and then we’ll stop. [music playing] Then he jumps back to the tonic [music playing] and from there on out he’s just running the I, VI, IV, V, I instrumentally in this section. Then the B section comes back and the A section at the end [music playing] so that’s it. I think we’re out of time. And I thank you for staying over a bit and we’ll see you on Thursday. [music playing]

[end of transcript]

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