If you would like to participate in discussions, please sign in or register.
Hello, all. I'm looking for examples of initial musical phrases that begin with a dominant chord. When I posed this question to myself, my thoughts turned immediately to Chopin's Op. 28, No. 7, and then to Schubert's Op. 50 (D. 779), No. 19, but I'm wondering what other gems might be lurking out there in our collective memories. Since I'm thinking of this in the context of introducing basic concepts to college freshmen, I'm primarily interested in the most straightforward examples with clear phrasing.
I'd greatly appreciate any leads you might offer.
SMT Discuss Manager: email@example.com
Lots of Chopin Mazurkas! op. 6 no. 1; op. 7, no. 1; op. 24, no. 1, op. 24, no. 3; op. 24, no. 4; op. 30, no. 1; op. 33, no. 3; op. 41, no. 2; op. 50, no. 1; op. 63, no. 2; and op. 67, no. 2 are the ones that I identified with a quick perusal.
Radiohead, "I Will" (2003), in C#m—yes, with raised leading tone (i–VI7–V)—begins on the dominant.
Would second Brent on Chopin as a great source. Was looking through the waltzes myself: the Grand Valse Brilliante, and also op. 70 no. 1 come to mind.
Beethoven's first Symphony comes to mind . . .
A classic case--the whole piece makes a great teaching example--is Brahms, Op. 76, No. 4.
There are some examples that invite contemplation. What about the Chopin 2nd Ballade, op. 38, for example? Contextually, it ought to be understood as I, yet, unlike with the A minor Etude, I'm betting 99% of listeners professional or otherwise somehow process that opening as V...
Professor of Music Theory
Eastman School of Music
Symphonie Fantastique by Berlioz - I. Visions and Passions
Mendelssohn Song without words 62,1
If you can stray from the common-practice repertoire: plenty of traditional fiddle tunes that do this; a good number of "vintage" concert-march strains (though perhaps more often the second strain, as with Sousa's "Nobles of the Mystic Shrine"), lots of polkas (including the venerable "Too Fat" polka), La Cumparsita; in "Songbook" pop there's Avalon plus numerous Gershwin songs, including My Cousin in Milwaukee (sort of), Rosalie, How Long Has This Been Going On?, Funny Face, Someone Believes In You, South Sea Isles, etc. Irving Berlin "I've Got My Captain Working for Me Now," too. If you include tunes that sorta start ii7-V7-I, there's GG's By Strauss, Porter's "I Get A Kick Out Of You," and oodles more. Plenty in the klezmer realm, too as well as "country-western" (past and present).
Liszt, Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2, the major-key theme
The second theme to Beethoven's first piano sonata comes to mind, but that spins out into an awfully long phrase...
Have a look at www.musictheoryexamples.com, Chapters 3, 4, 5, and 7. I've got sections on beginning with various dominant-function chords--about 30 examples in all.
Perhaps the following diverse examples, which can be found on imslp.org, might be helpful.
Josephine Lang, 6 Lieder, op. 25 no. 5
Fanny Hensel, 6 Lieder, op. 1 no. 3
John Philip Sousa, Semper Fidelis (for the bandos)
Here's more Scbubert for you: in D 365 (his first published set; 1821): ns 1, 4, 9, 10, 13, 15, 21, 25, 26, 30. In D 779 (published in 1825, but at least some of the dances date back quite a bit earlier): ns 9, 17, 33, in addition to n 19 that you mentioned. Many of these are Ländler and in Ab major, the key commonly used by Schubert and others as a "darker" fortepiano variant of the proper violin key of A major. Same with Eb and E, Db and D.
There's the first movement of the Brahms Horn Trio, and the fourth movement of the German Requiem.
MacDowell's "By a Meadow Brook" from the Woodland Sketches
Since Mike Rogers mentioned beethovens First Symphony, which begins
with a secondary dominant, I'll add his Promethius Overture, which begins
with V4/2 of IV, and his "Pastorale" Sonata, op. 28, which begins with V7/IV.
For a phrase beginning on V7, there is also the opening of the Trio of the
Minuet in Mozart's Jupiter Symphony.
Beethoven, F-sharp major Sonata, op. 78, second movement. Starts with an augmented sixth going to V. The modulation to IV later in the opening theme counterbalances the dominant-oriented beginning.
Thank you all so very much for your helpful suggestions. The pieces you've mentioned will serve as additional fodder for my teaching and writing for years to come!
Gary, I just thought of the finale of Beethoven’s Piano Sonata, Opus 7. A bit late to share this, but a nice example nonetheless.
One additional piece that does not seem to have been mentioned so far is Brahms' Intermezzo op. 118 n. 1, which starts with what locally appears to be Ib7, with the additional complication that the local C major tonality later turns out not to be the main tonality. The piece is in A B A' form, with each 10-measure section starting on a dominant, section A on Ib7 in C major, B a long elaboration of V of A minor, and A' again starting as section A on Ib7 of C, but ending in A minor.
Themes beginning with a dominant chord:
Chopin, Grande Valse in Eb, op. 18; Mazurka op. 7 No.1 in Bb; Mazurka op. 67 No. 2 in G minor; the prelude in A major that you mention, and perhaps other works...
// Tchaikovsky, "Winter Morning" in D major/B minor, from Piano Album for Children (begins with A7-5 in second inversion, resolving into tonic D). Geographic names notwithstanding, this is a true dominant chord with a lowered fifth:
// Tchaikovsky, same album, "Farmer's Boy Plying on the Accordion" in Bb
// If you count implied dominants on an upbeat, there must be numerous such beginnings, among which:
Beethoven: son. 1 in f, beginning of movements 1 and 2; son. 10 in G, Andante; son. 22 in F, opening, etc.
Thanks again to those adding to this discussion after such a long pause. All these excerpts are delightful!
"Part of Your World" from Disney's "The Little Mermaid" is a fabulous example of this. It basically floats around the dominant for the first couple verses, without any full cadence. As I hear it, the opening tension isn't actually resolved until the very end of the song.
Just watched Prince of Egypt for the first time last night. (Really!)
The very opening theme begins with an arpeggiated dominant 7th chord, unaccompanied in the trumpets: