Posted at 10:51 AM on January 13, 2012
by William Johnston
Mozart's Piano Sonata K. 545 is a well known and light-hearted piece, but have you ever analyzed it?
In common practice period music, most music can be analyzed within the key by using chord numbers, indicated with Roman numerals. This piece is in C Major, so the I (1) chord — C E G — is the tonic or home chord. The V (5) chord (G B D) is the dominant chord and is built on the fifth diatonic (meaning within the key, or — in C Major — all of the white keys) note above the tonic. The II chord is build on D, the III chord is built on E, and so on.
All of these chords have an emotion attached to them which Mozart manipulated to create the work. This video has the Roman numeral analysis at the top, and a stick figure underneath representing the artist's view of the emotion. Watch out for the V of V, he is quick. At 0:45 the piece switches to minor.