Return to CSO's  Beethoven

  • Symphony 1 Mvt 4 excerpt2:22

In music, a SEQUENCE is the repeat of a simple melodic idea (motif)  usually at a higher or lower pitch. It was a common way for composers from the Classical Period to elaborate on a melody.  Beethoven takes the idea of sequence to the extreme in this final movement of his very first symphony.  See how many times you hear the ideas below as you listen to this music.

Beethoven begins the last movement of his first symphony by teasing us with a SCALE.  A scale is an ordered set of pitches usually played from lowest to highest or highest to lowest.  In this case the composer takes us up a G scale but just a few notes at a time, slowly teasing us until we get to the top and the main melody begins.

Symphony No. 1 Mvt. 4