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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Goodness gracious it's a neapolitan sixth!

Yep, it's that time again....ROMAN NUMERAL ANALYSIS! Tonight's victim is Mozart's Piano Sonata in C Major, third movement measures 41-48(in c minor). Well, let's get started.
Side Note: The workbook explains that chord changes happen before the downbeat so for my analysis I mostly used chords that came before the downbeat.

ms.41; i64
ms.42; V7
ms.43; i64
ms.44; V42, V6
ms.45; i, iidim, i6
ms.46; iv7
ms.47; N6, V7
ms.48; i

The Neapolitan chord in ms.47 is approached like any other predominant chord you might find out there. It is the arriving point of a cute little descending sixteenth note pattern that starts in the right hand at ms.43. More importantly the harmony that the Neapolitan sixth is included in belongs to the ever popular (T-PD-D-T) chord pattern. For those of you who skipped my chord analysis above, this pattern occurs in ms.45-48. I know, maybe some of you are thinking "Can you have two predominant chords stuck together just like that?" Well, yes you's like having a i chord and a i65 chord in the same measure, they both still count as tonic! Now as I mentioned above, the Neapolitan sixth resolves straight to a V chord just like a good little Neapolitan sixth should.
Some other things that this particular N6 should be praised for:
  1. Both Ra(b flat) and Le(f natural) resolve to Ti(g sharp) and Sol(e natural) respectively. The b flat resolves down to the g sharp by way of a natural aka Do. (Good job b flat!) . And the f natural is being a jokester in this excerpt. Instead of going to the nearest e natural,which would be a half step down it decides to go up to the e natural that is nearly an octave higher! (One gold star for you f natural!)

  2. It sounds freakin' awesome wedged in between the iv and V chord. You might think that the harmony is just going to be that boring ol' i-iv-V-i shindig that you hear everywhere, but NOPE! The Neapolitan chord just sneaks in there and takes you by surprise! MmmmMmmm, ear candy!

Now that's one delicious Neapolitan sixth!


kellyhoupt_2010 said...

omg that was soooo delicious

Tiffypoo said...

too bad I can't eat it....dang dairy.