GCSE Music Analysis: Symphony No.40 in G Minor

Updated on May 16, 2016

I am currently taking GCSE music and have finished my performances and compositions. I'm going to be taking my final theory exam this June. I have created this hub-page so people who are taking GCSE music can revise from this so they can succeed in their current GCSE music examinations.


General information

This piece was composed in 1788 during the classical period for a chamber orchestra.


This piece has no percussion and the only brass instrument in this piece is the French Horn.
This piece was written to be played by a chamber orchestra, as mentioned in the general information section. The three sections are woodwind, brass and strings.

Classical Period Features

The classical period features in this piece include:

  • Balanced phrases.
  • Melody dominated texture.
  • Structures defined by clear use of keys.
  • Harmony was functional.
  • Ideas of contrast in terms of key, melody and more varied dynamics
  • Orchestra was established as a standard instrumental ensemble.
  • New musical genres emerged - the symphony, concerto and string quartet.

Tempo and Rhythm

This piece has the time signature of 4/4 and has a tempo of "Molto allegro". This piece has a distinct clear pulse which is easy to follow. The opening has a quaver accompaniment in the violas and a on'beat crotchet bass notes from the basses.

Structure and Tonality

This piece is in sonata form which consists of three sections:


  • Starts in G Minor then modulates during the bridge to B Flat Major for the 2nd subject.
  • Extra chromatic notes add tension in the bridge passage.


  • Harmonies are more chromatic.
  • Starts in F# Minor, but explores lots of different keys.


  • Returns to G Minor and repeats the 1st subject.
  • Bridge passage is longer but passes through more keys.
  • Second subject this time is in G Minor.


Melodic/Musical Devices

  • Sequencing is used in the opening melody of the violins. The first four bars are repeated using a descending sequence. This is also used in the bridge passage.
  • Chromaticism is used in the 2nd subject.
  • Counter-melodies are used in the development.
  • Augmentation is used in the codetta. (Doubling the original note values).
  • Pathétique is the overall melancholy mood of the piece, particularly the 2nd subject.


  • At the beginning, it is soft (p). Although, unusually, most classical pieces start loud (f).
  • The 2nd subject uses crescendos.
  • The bridge is loud (f) and has a lot of sforzandos.

Timbre and Texture

  • Mainly melody dominated homophony used throughout. Although the piece explores different textures.
  • First and second violins play in octaves at first and they also play in unison.
  • Other parts use pedals.
  • The piece ends with a homophonic texture.

Melody and Pitch

  • Movement is conjunct with some leaps.
  • Instruments generally play in their comfortable, middle registers.
  • The flute and violin 1 explore a higher range at times.

Molto allegro
Very fast
When a melody starts on the 4th beat
A tiny part of a melody
A recurring note
Ending section
Mini ending section
The original key
Relative minor
Minor key with the same key signature (sharps and flats) as tonic
5th (in the original key of c, this would be g)
Melodic fragment
A tiny part of a tune, similar to a motif
Same as polyphonic - more than one part at once. Both tunes are equally important
Like "melody and accompaniment" - all the parts move in chords.
On the 'off-beat'.
A long line which connects two notes together
The pitch
1st subject
The 1st theme
The bridge section
The end parts of phrases
Questions on this relate to chords and cadences or specific keys
Where one part copies another
A musical tool
Play exactly the same thing at the same time. Woodwind generally doubles the tune
A group of instrumentalists, especially one combining string, woodwind, brass, and percussion sections and playing classical music
Is the number of parts and how they work together
A single tune that can be accompanied by a rhythm
The same length

Overview Quiz

view quiz statistics

© 2016 Lucas Tomlin


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, spinditty.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)