Sonatina in F. First movement

Transcribed from


Publisher Info. Ludwig van Beethovens Werke, Serie 16: Sonaten für das Pianoforte (pp.183-88), Nr.160 Leipzig: Breitkopf und Härtel, n.d.[1862-90]. Plate B.160.


Copyright. Public Domain


Direct link. https://imslp.org/wiki/2_Sonatinas_for_Piano%2C_Anh.5_(Beethoven%2C_Ludwig_van)


Considered Public Domain: Life+70 years

Beethoven: 1770 - 1827

Public domain: 1827+70 = 1897


Practice Notes

  • Read through the piece and add the names to any chords and scale passages.

  • Look for the cadential points and label the cadences with the key and chords. e.g. F:V - F:1 (Perfect cadence in F major).

  • Utilize the most appropriate finger pattern with consideration of standard scales or arpeggios.

  • This is a piece written in 1770. The Classical period was 1730 to 1820. Consider the phrasing for this period and listen to three examples of the piece online.

  • Play each hand separately in four bar sections and listen.

  • Where is the melody?

  • How does the melody move between the hands?

  • Where are the question (antecedent) phrases and where are the answer (consequent) phrases?

  • Put the hands together in four bar sections and listen.

  • How does the music played by each hand intertwine?

  • Where would you add phrases or adjust the articulation to produce a pleasing performance?

  • Looking at each four bar section, is it phrased as a question or an answer? Does it move up or down the piano? Classical dynamics will probably include an element of style du jour that rises and falls, or breathes, with the music.

  • Look out for exceptions that don't feel like they fit this format. This is still the Classical period, more would be applied if you play a Romantic piece.

  • In some sections the left hand takes a more prominent role, indicate this on your score and ensure the balance is reflected as you play.

  • Where is the climax of the piece, the point to which the composer is moving. Can you express this in your performance so that the listener knows that you have reached a place of destination.

  • Now that dynamics and shape have been added, it is time to make any changes to the finger patterns chosen.

  • Using a metronome, work through each eight bar section with a click on the quaver beat. Practise this at a slow (50 bpm), medium (80 bpm) and fast (100 bpm) tempo.

  • In appropriate passages block* the left hand chords to hear the harmonies while playing a singing right hand melody.

  • The left hand will benefit from a little rotation technique* in the Alberti style passages.

  • Repeat the previous exercise with the click on the crotchet beat.

  • Try changing the rhythmic grouping of each beat by using rhythms in your rhythm bank.

  • Add pedal to help the left hand resonance but maintain clarity in the right hand.

  • Sing the melody. Where does the natural texture move, where is heavier and where is lighter? Can you reflect this in your playing?

  • Use the 'Nimble Finger Technique'* to develop a singing tone in the melody.


*block. Hold all the chord notes down in one chord which is held for the duration of the implied harmony.

*rotation technique. See the piece workbook.

*nimble finger technique. See the piece workbook.


Video and audio links to follow

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