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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was undoubtedly one of the greatest composers of not only the classical era, but of all time. On January 27, 1756 in Salzburg, Austria, Mozart was born into an already musically talented family. His father Leopold, a composer and musician, and sister Nannerl toured parts of Europe giving many successful performances, including some before royalty. At the young age of 17, Mozart was appointed Konzertmeister at the Salzburg Court. It was there that young Mozart composed two successful operas: “Mitridate” and “Lucio Silla”. In 1981 he was dismissed from his position at the Salzburg Court. He went on to compose over 600 works including 27 piano Concertos, 18 Masses (including his most famous, the Requiem), and 17 piano sonatas. Mozart was not often known for having radical form or harmonic innovation but rather, most of his music had a natural flow, repetition and simple harmonic structure.
Composed at the age of 6, Mozart’s Minuet in F Major (K.2) was one of his earliest works. Written for piano, this “dance” features a homophonic structure with an upper and lower voice. The right hand plays arpeggiations of each chord while the left hand plays the roots to support the melody.
Mozart’s use of melodic contour and repetitive rhythmic motives make this piece feel very connected throughout. He begins with a two eighth note followed by two quarter note pattern. This pattern is repeated twice more until finally at measure four a new melodic and rhythmic motive is introduced. At measure four a retardation occurs using a half note to delay the resolution to the quarter note, drawing out the resolution as much as possible to create a sense of relief upon arrival. This pattern of three measures of motive “A” followed by...

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...ABA 32-bar dance, a very common form for the time, the PAC in measure 4 is simply too strong to be ignored. Motives “A” and “B” also repeat at the end of every four measures, providing a strong sense that each phrase is four measures long.
Conclusively, while being one of his earliest works, Mozart’s Minuet in F Major (K.2) is far from primitive. His use of repetition and subtle melodic and rhythmic variations keep the melody interesting enough to retain the listener’s attention. Not only this, but the harmonic surprises of the modulation and deceptive cadence keep the listener guessing in the best way possible. While at the surface this work may seem like nothing more than an AABA 32-bar dance, there is much more than that hidden throughout the work. If this is what Mozart was capable of at the mere age of six, it is unsurprising that his legacy remains to this day.


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