Roman Numeral Analysis
m. 1-6 Key of I (C major): I, V, I viihalfdiminished7/V
m. 7-15 Key of V (G major): I, ii6, V64-53, I, V6, I, V43, I6, ii6, V64-53, I
m. 16-22 Key of i (C minor): V, i6, vii, i, V, V7, i, vii, i,
m. 23-28 Key of I (C major): V, I, V, I
m. 29-32 Key of I (C major): I, V64-53, I, V6
m. 33-38 Key of I (C major): I, V43, V6, IV, V64-53, I
Sonatina Form (ABA)
A. (Exposition) m. 1-15, key of I, C major
Exposition is simple continuous binary form (AB)
(A) First Tonal Area
Parallel Period m. 1-15
Phrase A m. 1-4, HC in key of I, G major triad
Phrase B m. 5-8, PAC in key of V, G major triad
(no specific transition section , modulation to V done in previous phrase)
(B) Second Tonal Area
It is possible to perceive this section as one big phrase, due to its continuous motion, although V6 leads to I in m. 9-10 and a V43 to a I6 in m. 11-12, but this is possible also.
Phrase C m. 9-10, IAC in key of V, G major traid
Phrase C’ m 11-12, IAC in key of V, G6 Elides to next phrase
Phrase D m. 12-15 PAC in key of V, G major triad
B. (Development) m. 16-23, key of i, C minor
Development is contrasting period, made by Phrases E and F
Phrase E m. 16-19, HC in key of i, C minor
Phrase F m. 20-23, HC in key of I, C major
(no specific retransition section, modulation to I done in previous phrase)
A. (Recapitulation) m. 24-38, key of I, C major
Recapitulation is simple sectional binary form (A’B’)
Parallel Period m. 24-31
Phrase A m. 24-27, HC in key of I, G major triad
Phrase B’ m. 28-31, PAC in key of I, C major
(again, no transition section is really present, modulation done in previous phrase, recapitulation remains in tonic key)
Phrase C’’ m. 32-33, IAC in key of I, C major
Phrase C’’’ m. 34-35, IAC in key of I, C6 Elides to next phrase
Phrase D’ m. 35-38, AC in key of I, C major
The right hand motif of m. 1-4, especially the quarter note-two eighth notes-two quarter notes motif of m. 1-2, is developed. Rhythmically and in regards to musical shaping, m. 1-4 is imitated directly in m. 16-23. To set it apart from the other sections, the development section is in the key of the parallel minor, C minor.
The changes made to the recapitulation from the development are in the key change. In the exposition, m. 5-8 modulate to the key of V, with m. 8 ending in a PAC in the key of V with a G major triad. Unlike m. 5-8, m. 28-31 end with a PAC in the key of I with a C major triad, which keeps the second section of the recapitulation in the tonic key of C major rather than modulating the passage to the key of V like the exposition did. The keeping of the tonic key in the recapitulation permits a seamless method of ending the piece after m. 34-38.
Indeed, Clementi’s Sonatina O. 36 No. 1 shares many qualities with the larger sonata form on a smaller scale. First, Clementi’s piece is divided into three sections, exposition, development, and recapitulation, which are the sections sonata form is divided into. Second, both the development and recapitulation section exhibit their own binary forms within the sections; having musical forms such as binary within a larger section is common to sonata form. However, unlike sonatas, transitional and retransitional sections are practically nonexistent. Modulations do occur, but they are done within the phrases themselves rather than by having a large portion of the piece specifically written to explore and/or sequence to other keys. Furthermore, the development section from m. 16-23 is very short and does not travel to any other key than the parallel minor, C minor. In comparison to a sonata, transitions/retransitions and the development section of pieces like a larger Beethoven or Mozart sonata may travel several keys spanning many measures to create harmonic instability in these sections.
The piece has a joyful, rhythmic feel to it with few dissonant harmonies. The lighthearted quality of classical music such as this Clementi sonatina should not be forgotten in performance; the performer should keep the latter qualities alive in the music by being straightforward with the piece’s markings such as staccato notes and dynamics. There is not much room for rubato in the piece. The exception to this is the end, for one can musically justify ending the last measure or two with a small ritard if he or she desires.