Beethoven Piano Sonata No.14 – I have aimed this at a child listening for the first time
This piece is also known as the Moonlight Sonata. It is one of the most recognisable pieces by Beethoven and you may have heard little bits of it before. However it may not remind you of moonlight. Beethoven did not give this sonata the name, it was given to it years later.
A sonata has 3 parts to it which are called movements and each movement is different. In each movement the pianist has some words written here and there letting them know how to play the music. These are called performance directions. Sometimes there are just letters for the pianist to read. When this sonata starts the pianist sees the following written..pp sempre. The pp means very quietly and sempre is Italian for always. So until the pianist sees anything else written down, they must play the piano quietly until there is change. There are directions in the piece as a whole and you may hear the piece getting louder or softer, or changes in the speed, these are all taken from the words in the piece of music.
Each movement has a different sound to it, which is determined by the key signature and you can usually hear when one movement ends and another begins. A brief pause and continuing in another key signature. The first movement is written in a minor key, and a minor key sounds sad. When the first movement goes into the second movement the key changes to a major key and this always sounds much livelier, you will hear this and you will know the movement has changed. The third movement is in the same minor key that the pice started with and you will hear sadness again. Sometimes when you listen to the movements you may want to describe how the music makes you feel and there is no wrong or right answer and if someone else is listening to it they may feel something else.
When you are listening to this piece you will hear the same patterns repeated in different parts of the piece. This is a theme or motif and when you hear it, you may hear it in different ways but you will know that is something that you have heard