Key: F Major
Piano score: PS Urtext
Audiovisual Study Tool
Mozart in his playroom
In this early Mozart piece, one really needs to know the "typography" of the keyboard - the hand needs to move constantly, finding the three notes of the most common chords in F major in many different positions. The piece has a strict four-bar structure and a very repetitive rhythm, but Mozart creates variety by giving each phrase a different direction. It's quite a feat to make the exact same four bars work convincingly both as an opening and closing statement!
One of the characteristics of the classical period is a strong preference for using dissonances and surprise harmonies to add expression to the music. This can be seen clearly even in Mozart’s very first compositions. Listen to the last measure of every four-bar phrase and think about the contribution of the non-chord tones. What if the right hand just played an F already on the first beat of the fourth measure? Perhaps that is what a less gifted composer than Mozart would have come up with. The deceptive cadence to d minor in measure 28, emphasized with a fermata, is another thing that makes this Minuet something more than just a composition exercise.
This Minuet is part of a collection of simple piano pieces that was dedicated to Mozart’s older sister Maria Anna (nicknamed Nannerl), who was also an extremely talented musician. It is dated January 1762, which means that Mozart was 5 years when he composed it.
Practice & Performance Tips:
This piece is in Rounded-Binary Form (the opening material is used again at the end). Before playing this minuet as written, identify the chords outlined by the treble clef notes (m. 1 is F Major, m. 2 is B-flat Major, etc.). Can you play these chords with your right hand and pay attention to the bass line in your left hand?
Notice that there are many sequences in this piece. The first three measures have descending sequences while measures 5, 6 and 7 have ascending sequences. How could you show the difference in direction when you perform?
Can you analyze what happens after the double bar line? The harmony changes: some chords are not major but diminished, giving a more dramatic feel to the B section.
When playing the repeated notes on beats 2 and 3, your wrist should move slightly up and forward. These beats should sound lighter than the downbeat, giving this minuet a bouncy... Sign up for a Gold membership to read the practice tips.
Downloadable piano sheet music by Wolfgang Amadéus Mozart to print: Minuet in F K. 2 in F Major (published in 1762)
Minuet in F K. 2 in F Major, a composition by the classical composer Wolfgang Amadéus Mozart. The piano score of this piece was first published in 1762 and is part of Miscellaneous pieces by Mozart.