Analysis Of Ludwig Van Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata

Table of Contents

A Overview



1st Movement – Adagio Sostenuto

2nd Movement – Allegretto

3rd Movement – Presto Agitato

In conclusion


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A Overview

Piano Sonata No. 14 in C–sharp Minor, also known as the “Moonlight Sonata,” is a solo piano sonata piece composed by Ludwig van Beethoven. It was called the “Moonlight Sonata” for its connection to Ludwig Rellstab’s 1830s review. According to the composer, the first movement featured a boat floating on Lake Lucerne’s moonlight. It is said that it is one of his finest pieces of art. He is especially fond of its mysterious and lightly arpeggiated tones and what appears to be an improvised initial movement. It was completed for the first time in 1801 and published every year thereafter. Beethoven premiered it, although his hearing was not impaired enough to notice the changes, but his hearing was already failing. Beethoven had initially dedicated this work to Countess Giulietta Guicciardi (16-year-old aristocrat, who was briefly his student).

The Moonlight Sonata was a masterpiece in structure and style. Sonatas of the late seventeenth-eighteenth century had a single, rationally energetic, thematically distinct movement. The second movement was more passive and the final movement was more lively. The Moonlight’s finale was so emotional, several piano strings broke and became entangled with the hammers. Beethoven played with a heavier hand in his declining hearing years, probably so that he could hear the music better.

BeethovenLudwig von Beethoven was born December 16, 1770 and died March 26, 1827. He was a German composer/pianist. He is widely considered to be one of music’s greatest musicians. His compositions were able to mix vocals with instruments in many different ways, giving new life to the sonatas, concertos, quartets and symphonies. He is seen as the pivotal transitional character who linked the Classical and Romantic periods of Western music.

His personal life was plagued by his constant fight against his growing deafness. You don’t know my secret cause, and I would have ended mine life. It was only my arts that kept me back. It seemed impossible for me to leave the world until all of my feelings were released.

AnalysisThe piece length varies between fifteen and twenty minutes depending on the speed at which it is played. The tempo for this piece is sixty bpm (beats/minute). The piece’s structure is sonata-like and typical of the classical era, as sonatas typically had three to four movements.

This piece is unique in that it has a tempo. The sonatas were generally fast-paced and then slowed down or brisk. The Moonlight Sonata is a different story. It moves slowly, then brisk/ medium speed, and then fast-paced. This was in line with Beethoven’s record of breaking rules in music. He seemed to like leaving the significant move for the last time, which he did in several sonatas. (opus 27 no. One and Opus One Hundred One.

The piece’s texture is delicate and thin, creating a dreamy feeling. As the piece progresses, it becomes thicker and more traditional to the classic trio and minuet, and then ends with a rich texture of chords that are in the background. They are focused on specific notes to impact the tempestuous tone, tempo, and rhythm of the final movement.

Adagio Sostenuto – 1st Movement The tone is mostly somber and quiet, with some exceptions like crescendos. It doesn’t cultivate beyond that. This is reserved for passionate Beethoven. Hector Berlioz used this as a quote to explain the impact and importance of the first movement.

Carl Czerny was Beethoven’s piano-student and it won the support of many Beethoven listeners. Czerny replied to Beethoven that he had written better pieces.

There is a continuous rhythmic beat with Beethoven’s triplet pattern throughout the movement. This gives off an effect of “rolling”, which is like creating a thought. As can be seen, the triplets patterns within the first move are arpeggios.

The melody in this movement has a very fleeting quality. It is like a little light shining through the pitch-black clouds and lower notes. The melody could almost be described as glistening.

The first movement uses a bizarre version of the traditional boyata form. It contains the first subject, from one to five, as well as a second topic, from fifteen to twenty-3. Additionally, the development section was shortened abruptly, from twenty-three minutes to forty-two. This is another reason why the sonatas are broken. The development section was previously a continuation of the exposition, which took the themes and used them to fill the interval. However, Beethoven did not use it. This section is, in comparison, ‘almost as short a bridge’.

The recapitulation is where the first and second themes (bars forty-two to forty six6) are purchased back. However, the tone of the second theme is played in a different key. Finally, the coda (ending), is located at bar sixty-five to sixty five, closing the movement.

Beethoven achieved a feeling “almost like a dream” which gave the movement the illusion of being spontaneous. This gave Beethoven the freedom to free himself from the usual harmonic progressions that are found in traditional sonatas.

A section of the development section has a section that allows the melody to drop and the notes to run up and then down the keyboard. This section has an almost cadenza-like improvisational quality.

2nd Motion – AllegrettoOf these three movements it is the least well-known. It’s your standard Minuetto trio and is pretty simple in a way, although it’s deliberately so. It was quite strong, so you had to be clear about it in order to set the stage for the final movement.

It’s not an ordinary thing because Beethoven couldn’t; it’s very unusual and well-planned. Any additional music would have made the music too intense and overwhelming. Franz Liszt referred to the second movement, “a flower among two chasms”.

Technically speaking, this trio and minuetto are somewhat unusual. The trio as well the Minuetto parts are both in the same key. Beethoven chose to keep it simple.

It’s quite remarkable, however, that both the Minuettos and the trio are in Db Major. C# minor is the key of the first and third movement. If you think about a keyboard, this note is Db. These keys are called “enharmonic”, which means they have different names for the same piano note.

3rd movement – Presto AgitatoIt has a lighthearted mood and is very similar to the original movement. However, it is played forte with allegro. It can be described as passionate, passionate, powerful, and ferocious. This movement requires the greatest skill. While the first movement is easy for intermediate students, the final movement is difficult.

This movement would have a lot of fortissimos, which blast through the entire piece. This movement’s powerful sound is not achieved by blasting out loud notes. Instead, it uses a few carefully selected accents in a sea quiet playing (with an occasional fortissimo) to make it stand out.

It’s written in sonata format for the technical aspect of the movement. You have the exposition (bars 1 through 60-five), development (11-66) to one hundred-two), recapitulation (1100 and 3 to one 100 and fifty-eight), coda (1100 and fifty-eight until the end), and recapitulation (21-42).

The development is completed and the recapitulation follows, with some minor variations.

ConclusionThe moonlight piano sonata was dedicated not only to the student but also had ulterior motives.

Frederic Chopin also said that the piece inspired him to create his Fantaisie-Impromptu, as a homage to Beethoven. Enst Oster wrote “… We can recognize which features of the C# major Sonata caught the attention of Chopin with the help of the Fantaisie Impromptu. Chopin is our teacher. He points out the coda and tells us, “Look here, it’s great.” This is a great example of how one genius can reveal to us what he hears in another genius’s work.

Beethoven was greatly influenced Mozart’s death scene from Don Giovanni. Chopin was also influenced later by Moonlight Sonata for the Fantaisie-Impromptu. This is the (musical life) cycle.

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Biography. (2019). Ludwig van Beethoven. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 Mar. 2019].

The Encyclopedia Britannica is a respected source of information. (2019). work by Beethoven. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 Mar. 2019]. (2019). [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 Mar. 2019]. (2019). – Analysis of Moonlight Sonata Beethoven by Beethoven – [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 Mar. 2019].

YouTube. (2019). Beethoven – Moonlight Sonata (FULL). [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 Mar. 2019].