The reason I chose Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 (1st movement) is because it really stood out to me out of all the pieces we heard in class and that are on the Moodle Website. I enjoy listening to this piece because it gives off a fun and warm vibe at times sounding playful and fast but then it takes on a warmer and somewhat soothing ambiance at other times. Honestly, when I listen to this song I have to turn the volume down because the pitch of the violins is so powerful and high.
I believe this is because this specific Symphony was composed and performed in G minor. The scale (major or minor), and more specifically the 3rd note, determines whether the chords played will give off a brighter cheerier sound, or a darker sadder sound. The song starts off with a repeating fast and quiet back and forth sound by the violins, this is the beat. Then the melody kicks in, with a succession of many pitches going at a very fast pace. After about 15 seconds the harmony is apparent and starts to overpower the song.
The harmony, which is a vertical relationship of two or more pitches together, along with the melody which is a succession of pitches that stand out, create a fast-pace and thrilling mood. From the beginning of the song up until when the harmony and melody are apparent, I feel as though I could be on a merry-go-round, starting off slow and eventually reaching a very high speed. This is the affective-reactive meaning the song has on me. It evokes emotions of thrill including high speeds, even fear and suspense, as if I was being chased by someone or something.
In this piece the instruments being used (that I know of) are the strings, which consist of violins, viola’s, cello’s, and double basses, oboes, bassoons (horns), flutes, and clarinets. Each category of instruments (strings or horns) stands out at certain times. I especially enjoy the flutes and clarinet’s part, when the strings will either stop playing completely or just get quieter. I believe this piece projects imaginary involvement, because it depicts a: fast, to slow, to a fast/slow dance, to a fast pace.
It is constantly going up and down on the scale and is not similar to a lot of other pieces by Mozart himself. Almost a minute into the song, there is a pause, in this time the music went from being very fast and up-beat to slower almost dancing music. At this point I imagine a boy chasing a girl and they’re in love, but when the music transitions after the break from fast and upbeat to slow and calm, the boy caught the girl and they were happy and enjoying one another’s company.
This piece was written between the classical and the Romantic era in the 1780’s. Romanticism does not necessarily refer to romantic love but during the romantic era in music, love was a prevalent topic in many works including music and literature. Throughout the entire song, it is hard for me to think of anything but love and romance. Not just any type of love either but new love, which is exciting and wild. I wish I knew what Mozart’s intentions were when composing this piece in order for me to get a better understanding of his music.