Arnold Schoenberg, Five Pieces for Orchestra, Op. 16, No. 1

I. Premonitions: Motivic Analysis

This analysis attempts to break this movement apart in terms of the motives used. There are at least four principal motives in addition to the D-A-C# chord that first appears in measure 23 and is sustained for the rest of the piece.

It is necessary to consider the intervals from which all motives are formed and sometimes to consider operations that displace these intervals by minor seconds or replace them by other intervals.

A: This motive first appears in the cello in measures 1-3 and is identified by two “cells” consisting of a minor second and major third (E-F-A, G#-A-C#). It appears at T(9) in measures 36-38 and at T(5) in measures 46-48, and in many other forms in the piece.

A is related to many events in the piece. A transposition of the inversion appears in measures 17-19 (Bb-A-F) which is very similar to T(9) in measures 36-38 but in retrograde. Both of these motives contain the notes D, A, and C#.

B first appears in measure 5 and is identified with the notes A-G#-D-A and, more importantly, by the intervals of a tritone and perfect fourth or fifth. In measure 5 it appears in both the clarinet and French horn parts. A variant appears in measures 12-13 (Eb-D-A-E).

An important variation of B is created by replacing one of the intervals by a major third. This form appears in measures 15-16 (F-B-Eb-Bb-A-Bb) and 98-99 (G-C#-F-C-B-C), and in augmentation in measures 96-98 (same as measures 15-16) and 100-102.

The intervals formed by B are discernible in the chords occuring in the opening statements of motive A.

C appears in measures 7-9 and is formed by the intervals of a major second, major third, and minor second (D-C-Ab-G-Ab). A transposition of the inversion appears in measures 54-56 (B-C#-F-E). A variation of this motive in which the minor second is replaced by a major second appears in measures 106-108 (Eb-F-Dd-B-C#, part of a longer motive) and a transposition (T(10), C-Bb-Gb-F-Gb) appears in measures 110-112.

D indicates not really a motive but the entire theme that begins in measure 26 and continues almost for the rest of the piece. The opening of D is recognized at subsequent entrances in measures 38, 49, 57, and 79, both in the original rhythm and in augmentation.

The last three notes of this motive, E-Ab-Bb, are used extensively as an ostinato rhythm starting in measure 34. This motive is transposed to T(4) in measures 46-47; T(4) is Ab-C-D, a subset of motive C. T(4) is also used in augmentation in measure 79.

One of the important clues to the identification of these motives is the rhythm, which is almost always the same or very similar. We sometimes resort to identifying motives that are quite different intervallically by the same rhythmically.

The following outline describes the entire movement in terms of the motives used:

Measure		Motives

1-35		Introduction of motives and some variations
1-3		A
4-6		B
7-9		C
10-14		passage ends with B
15-19		similar to A and B; 17-19 emphasizes intervals of C
20-25		B and further similarities to A and C; D-A-C# chord introduced
26		D

36-62		motive D as ostinato and D-A-C# chord combined with other motives
36		A
38		D enters again
40		B
46		D ostinato against A
49		D enters again
51		A and B
54		inversion of C
57		D
60		B against variation of C

63-102		combinations of all motives: denouement
63		A in counterpoint with itself
69		variants of A and B
79		D in original rhythm and augmentation both as motive and ostinato;
		chords of A as accompanying figure
96		B in augmentation and in faster rhythm
100		(Same as 96)

103-128		conclusion
105		B (same as measures 5-6)
106		variant of C
110		C
113		ostinato formed by alternation of minor seconds begins
125		ending emphasizes Ab-C D ostinato and D-A-C# chord