Learn all about this Joseph Haydn Piano Sonata Hob XVI.7. Analyzed by WKMT London Piano Studios.

In this analysis, Maestra Gisela Paterno gives us valuable insight into how this piece is structured: 

Click here to read the full analysis:


If you are a piano student, you might have played a Haydn Sonata before. If you would like to inform a little bit more about this particular piece, this is the best article as it provides not only a thorough analysis but technical advice specifically targeted to pianists that are interested in approaching this music.

If you are a piano teacher, this is a very useful material to have at hand when teaching this piece to your piano students as it will save you lots of time of the lesson by having a written material to ask your students to read at home. 

The analysis uses the terminology and vocabulary taken from the book of Arnold Schonberg "Fundamentals of Musical Composition" regarding the initial exposition divided into "sentences" and "periods", later taken and expanded by William Caplin in his book "Analyzing Classical Forms" in which the system of analysis is also based.

Without getting in more details, as you can read it directly from the author of this article, Gisela Paterno, we can say that the most striking feature of this Sonata is that the first movement does not follow the form of a Sonata, but the third movement instead!

As an earlier Sonata, we can still observe that Haydn had not yet developed the polyphonic texture in full as we can see in his later pieces. However, the form is taking shape, although the development section is still more dependant of the material of the exposition, and he even does not dare to go much further away from the home key.

This analysis also contains an exceptional feature for pianists: a specific section that provides technical advice for pianists. The technique employed is the one called "Scaramuzza technique". If you are interested in this, you can see the streamed online lessons for WKMT teacher's staff. It is entirely free and happens every week along with more classes such as musical analysis, composition, Harmony and Counterpoint by Juan Rezzuto and Gisela Paterno

This is the link:



If you are a fan of Haydn's work, you will find this Sonata a pure delight to play. No matter if you are a piano student or piano teacher, either way, you will find this specific piece of work a masterpiece.

Why is this Sonata so unique among all Haydn's pieces?

The first reason is that it is in a minor mode. Usually, all classical first movements are in Major, being this one an exception.

The other reason is that all three movements have an Allegro di Sonata form, which is mostly uncommon, as the second and third movements are in Minuet or Rondo forms.

That brings us to a related topic: the importance of analysing a piece of music thoroughly before playing it. As performers, it is impossible to truly grasp the structure of a piece without having a proper analysis first. If we don't do this, our artistic decisions will be only based on intuition, which is not a bad thing in itself. Still, the expression cannot solely rely on feelings but also in analytical thinking as the work of the great masters sometimes hides things in plain sight. It is our job to seek the pure core of the music given to us to build a profound interpretation of the piece.

Be ready to embark on a beautiful journey with this Sonata. Maestra Gisela Paterno guides us from the beginning to end providing from a broad overview to the minute details and the specific technical and pianistic tips to offer an insight into the piano performance through the eyes of the Scaramuzza technique, which WKMT studio specialises on.

In summary, every pianist should look in the architecture of the music before playing a single note, as the study of this Sonata will be more profound, giving the understanding of it firstly.

Click here to read the full Analysis on WKMT Blog.


Haydn and his Sonata forms analysed by WKMT Blog. Professional music analysis of these sonatas at WKMT.co.uk

This Sonata is by far one of the Sonatas composed by the great composer Joseph Haydn which manifests the most delicate and elegant melodic lines, the perfect challenge for any intermediate piano student.

The Classical period serves any piano tutor to impart in their students the necessary perfectionism to achieve an impeccable piano technique.

Why is it essential to study Haydn Piano Sonatas specifically?

Many reasons exist that answer this question. The main one is that Haydn developed his pianistic technique along of his compositions, so it is relatively easy for any piano teacher to pick the pieces for their students, follow the order within the timeline!

Secondly, and especially true in this Sonata (or also called "Divertimento" by the author himself) there are original ideas in his compositions, many attributed to one of his pupils, L. V. Beethoven, that surprises any musician. Alvaro Sisti explains an example of this original twists in his article: 

"We can find some unusual things for a sonata, like the lack of a proper recapitulation (something very appreciated in this period), or the secondary theme first showing up in a minor version of the necessary key, or even a quite long development (53 bars against 62 of the Exposition, for instance). These things are more likely in the Post-Beethoven period than in this early Haydn's composition stage."

Another moment in this piece that we can observe Haydn's legacy in Beethoven is in the third movement "Presto". Maestro Sisti comments "The most unusual thing happens towards the end of the development. When we finish the development in a classic sonata, usually we lean on the fifth grade, or we insinuate the come-back to the root. However, in this situation, Haydn finishes the section in a Third degree, the minor relative. Furthermore, without further preparation, we go back to the main theme in A major. Again, this seems more likely to happen in Beethoven's work than in Haydn's."

It is clear now upon the observation of this Sonata the huge influence Haydn had in Beethoven, and today we make a little justice bringing to light many of the "original ideas" attributed to Beethoven are in reality, Haydn's. 

If you need to read the full analysis, please click here and read all about this Sonata on WKMT Blog.


Learn all about Haydn works with the professionals at WKMT.

Without a doubt, Joseph Haydn was one of the most influential composers of the Classical period. The Classical period is said to start on the same ear of Johann Sebastian Bach's death, 1750 and its prolonged until 1820. During this time many composers contributed to the development of the Classical style, but Haydn was the most important one as he was the leading creator of the Sonata form. 

Among the piano students, Haydn Sonatas are a must in their repertoire. For piano tutors, his Sonatas are the favourite ones to teach as they, within themselves, show the evolution of Haydn as a pianist himself, turning these pieces into a useful pedagogical material as we can observe how his skills improved dramatically over the years.

In this Sonata, we can see how still Haydn was influenced by the Baroque period as this piece has three movements, commonly used on an earlier period, not four movements, which became the norm during the Romantic period.

Even though he composed his first Sonata at the age of twenty-seven, we can recognise his musical maturity. The mastery and control of the motives, the clear and robust structure and the definition of his style, even in this early work, defines Haydn's craft entirely.

More inside the piece, Georgios Kommatas, author of the analysis, explains: "The layout of the Movements is very standard. All the composers have unanimously used the 'Allegro' to begin the Sonata. The Second Movement is usually slow, as in this piece, an 'Andante', which means "at a walking speed". The 'Menuet-Trio' is a usual finale for Haydn as seen in his next Sonatas (e.g. HOB XVI: 2, 3, 4, 11 and others)

All three Movements are in C major. A shared tonic key can be traced from the Baroque Suite, which was customary to have all the Movements in the same key. 

During the Classical period, this tendency changed slowly towards different keys through the movements in a Sonata. This tendency can reveal how Haydn was still composing upon the Baroque style.

If you are interested on reading the full analysis of this first piano sonata, click on the link below mentioned. With WKMT, you will gain access to the analysis of all Haydn piano sonatas. WKMT is the only piano studio analysing Haydn works.



This Sonata is one of the most beautiful Sonatas that the great Austrian composer delivered, and even though he was only twenty-eight years old when he composed it, clearly shows the degree of musical maturity on his part.

This Sonata is one of the most beautiful Sonatas that the great Austrian composer delivered, and even though he was only twenty-eight years old when he composed it, clearly shows the degree of musical maturity on his part.

Learn to analyse with our piano lessons Glasgow.

Why is it important to analyse a piece?

Haydn Piano Sonata XVI.2 in Bb

The importance of analysing a piece before playing it is paramount for piano students and piano teachers alike. 

It provides an insight into the structure, the inner core of the music made so long ago. The composers give hints of their intentions; some are clear-cut. Still, others are not so obvious for the naked eye, and that is precisely the reason why all piano tutors should encourage to analyse the pieces to their students before approaching the technical issues that may arise from its study.

The decisions we will make upon it will depend on the analysis before the playing of the Sonata: which elements are the most important, or structural, or others can be mere ornamentations of the main themes. 

In the case of this Sonata, for example, Maestro Alvaro Sisti, starts with an insightful comment regarding the initial speed of the first Movement: "Even though the first movements are usually meant to be played fast, in Haydn's music it's normal to find tempos slightly slower, in which the subdivided value is the main characteristic of the beat. The bars are in 2/4 time signature, but its moderate tempo makes very easy to listen to a solid and firm rhythm of marked groups of four quavers each bar, something usual in classic subdivided moderate pieces."

How does it help the analysis in this piece?

The scrutiny upon the piece helps us to be aware of the whole arch of the piece. In the case of this Sonata, Haydn follows the "Sonata form" in the strictest way: Exposition-Development-Re-Elaboration.

But we can also be able to find original trades as well, such as in the Re-exposition when something extremely unusual happens: "The last bars of the coda use resources that have been shown up first in the bridge of the Exposition. In the Recapitulation, this bridge will not happen. So, we can say that Haydn re-introduced the bridge before the Recapitulation and not during the Recapitulation itself."


To analyse a piece is to see it under a spyglass, to identify original features, to bring the inner structure into the light, and finally, to acquire a profound understanding of the subtleties of the composer's craft, which in the case of Joseph Haydn we can ascertain, are many to disclose!

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