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5 - Interpreting the Results

Even though we've only searched for one pattern, there is enough information in these results to allow us to speculate about the nature of the music.

  • Form. The pattern appears several times in the first extended section of the piece, between the repeat signs. These repeated appearances suggest that it may be thematically significant. The instrumentation at bar 19 and following is preserved when the patterns reappear in bar 233. We do not know at this stage whether the whole texture at bar 19 is repeated at bar 233, but MelodicMatch facilitates the exploration of hypotheses such as this. There is enough material in these results to suggest that the movement may be in a type of ternary form - possibly sonata form - and we could continue to add patterns to the search with this theory in mind.
  • Instrumentation. The grey areas in the chart showing empty bars predominate in the winds and brass. This might suggest that the movement is more likely to be from the eighteenth century than the nineteenth, although the presence of clarinets points towards the movement being composed after 1750.
  • Modulation. The results in the flute part show that the pattern appears at a perfect fifth higher than the original pitch at bar 64. These results suggest that the movement has modulated to the dominant, prior to its return in the tonic at bar 233. This approach to modulation to and from the dominant lends weight to our initial hypothesis that the movement is in sonata form.

As we know that this is the first movement from a symphony by Haydn, these speculations are not particularly adventurous. In discussing them here, the aim is to show that the MelodicMatch chart can show at a glance the overview of the music. By hiding the details, this overview can give an immediate impression and can act as a point of departure for further investigation.

Potential patterns

The patterns that you look for in a piece are governed by your analytical goals and your experience with the repertoire. The intention of this tutorial is to show how to configure MelodicMatch to search for a range of pattern types, and also to convey that there is no one "correct" search for a given piece. In fact, in assembling even the single pattern in this discussion, there are many alternatives that could be taken, and that could produce results that are just as revealing about the design of the movement.

This tutorial continues with Creating Additional Patterns.



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