An introduction to music theory
An introduction to music theory

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An introduction to music theory

Group 1: identifying various different elements

Mozart, Piano Concerto in C minor, K491

Activity 1

What is the meaning of the tempo indication Larghetto?

a. 

very slow


b. 

smoothly


c. 

slow, but not as slow as largo.


The correct answer is c.

Answer

Largo means very slow, and the Italian term for ‘smoothly’ is legato.

Activity 2

What key is the melody in?

a. 

E flat major


b. 

A flat major


c. 

C minor


The correct answer is a.

Answer

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All the notes in the melody are contained within the scale of E flat major, and B naturals are absent, suggesting that C minor, the minor key with the same key signature as E flat major, is unlikely. A flat major is incorrect since it has a key signature of four flats, not three.

Activity 3

Which melodic interval (number only) occurs between the last note in bar 2 and the first note in bar 3?

a. 

octave


b. 

sixth


c. 

seventh


The correct answer is b.

Answer

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The last note in the second bar is a B and the first in bar 3, a G. If we count up the scale starting from the B flat (B–C–D–E–F–G) we find that the interval is a sixth.

Activity 4

What is the note name of the fourth note in bar 3?

a. 

B


b. 

B


c. 

A


The correct answer is a.

Answer

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On the treble staff the note sitting on the first ledger line above the staff is a B. However, the key signature of three flats signifies that all Bs in this extract (unless modified by accidentals) are Bs.

Activity 5

Which degree of the scale is the D in the fourth bar?

a. 

submediant


b. 

leading note


c. 

supertonic


The correct answer is b.

Answer

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Since the melody is in E flat major with E as the tonic, D is the seventh note up from E (E–F–G–A–B–C–D). It is therefore the leading note.

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