Melody analysis : Moonlight Sonata

Analysis of the melody of Moonlight Sonata by Ludwig Van Beethoven

The melody is introduced in the fifth bar, and must give the idea of floating on the accompaniment. At the tenth bar there comes a change of harmony from the major into the minor key, and here the note G (the first G) in the right hand should be accentuated. Ex. No. 2, bar 10. Proceeding onwards to the last quarter of the fifteenth bar and leading to the sixteenth, the melody adopts a more insistent temper, which may be rendered by emphasizing the notes B and C of the melody in the right hand, especially the C.

In fact, this note C should be taken arpeggiato with the accompaniment underneath. It seems to me to represent a cry of unutterable heart-ache, a sudden longing which cannot be appeased. In the following bar, where these same notes of appeal appear again, they may be repeated pianissimo as a kind of echo. Ex. No. 3, bars 15-18.

Coming to the twenty-fifth bar, there seems to be like a second voice appearing with a question in the treble and an answer in the base, and then another question, and the answer.

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