Analyze and interpret the piece answering the appropriate questions from the questions to ask of art

Music Analysis Introduction: The paper at hand analyzes the songs Moonlight Sonata (First Movement) by Beethoven and Across the Universe by The Beatles based on their melody, rhythm, form and genre, as well as makes a comparison between the two and provides personal response to both pieces.
Analysis of Moonlight Sonata:
Sonata No. 14 or “ quasi una Fantasia,” composed by Ludwig Van Beethoven, is believed to be the “ most famous sonata in existence” (Silverman 15). More popular by title ‘ Moonlight Sonata,’ as named by “ German poet and critic Ludwig Rellstab,” this composition comprises of three movements (Silverman 15). This paper basically analyzes the first movement, which follows the “ Adagio sostenuto (slow and sustained)” tempo, which is played in “ pianissimo (very soft)” with the loudest tune being “ mezzoforte” (Miller 2). The song follows a “ dotted rhythm melody” and comprises the technique of “ lamentation,” which is accompanied by a “ triplet rhythm ostinato” (Miller 2).
The song makes use of a sole instrument, the pedalier piano, with no additional instruments or voices performing the piece. While analyzing the song, composed in sonata form, a listener notices a second theme at 1: 10, the development which starts around 1: 51 and the recapitulation at 3: 04. Interestingly, there is a transition between different keys, however the basic melody and rhythm remain the same, thus giving the “ impression of grave meditation” (Miller 2). The Moonlight Sonata was published and performed in the year “ 1802,” and dedicated to Beethoven’s beloved, his seventeen year old pupil “ Countess Giulietta Guicciardi,” (Miller 2).
Interpretation of Moonlight Sonata:
Listening to this piece of music truly makes me understand why it has grown so popular since its composition more than 200 years ago. The unusual form of the composition makes it standout from other sonatas and I agree with Rellstab, as he says that the song reminds him of a “ boat visiting, by moonlight, the primitive landscapes of Lake Lucerne” (Silverman 15). Although I have not visited that particular lake, I can still relate to that image and the song somehow inspires in me a feeling of self reflection, where I want to revisit the painful events of my past and simply let go of them. This composition is truly a work of art that portrays the internal struggles Beethoven faced with his hearing loss.
Analysis of Across the Universe:
Across the Universe is a hit song from the album ‘ No One’s Gonna Change Our World,’ released by The Beatles on 1969. There are different versions to the song, however, the psychedelic folk appeal coupled with the spiritual refrain, tentative chorus melody and the irregular form is what enchants the listeners. The rhythm of the song is slow and easy going, which drives home the feeling of happiness and the spiritual refrain evokes a feeling of spirituality. The instruments used in the song are two guitars, a tamboura and a table harp accompanied by the vocals of the band members led by John Lennon.
The song, first performed in Abbey Road Studios in London, can be perceived as a souvenir they brought from India with the phrase “ Jai Guru Deva Om.” It is a dedication to fans and is intended to compensate the time that the Beatles spent away in India, to study under the maharishi. The verses of this cosmic ballad are of irregular lengths thus adding to the easy going feel. The song follows a steady eight note rhythm that plays keys D, Bm, Em7, A7 etc and features the breathless vocals of Lennon.
Interpretation of Across the Universe:
I feel like there are a lot of elements in the song, however, these elements are in complete harmony with one another. The song resonates the element of ‘ folk’ throughout and with the added spiritual refrain it helps to connect to the inner self. The song is like a spiritual journey one undertakes to discover nothing but the self and I have thoroughly enjoyed this journey. The lyrics of the song are down to earth and every word means and adds to the bigger picture of introspection.
Comparison and Contrast of the Songs Genres:
Where Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata is of a classical genre, the Beatle’s Across the Universe follows the psychedelic folk genre. Both the songs have a slow and soft melody, where the former is more of a sad tone whereas the latter is of a happy easy going tone. The former is a reflective song that touches the soul with just music, whereas the latter does the same through the use of pregnant words.
The paper at hand critiques the songs Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven and Across the Universe by The Beatles based on their forms, rhythm, melody, genre etc and also provides my personal response as a listener to these works of art.
Work Cited
Silverman, Robert. Beethoven’s 32 Piano Sonatas. 2010. Web. 29 June 2013.
Miller, Neil. Beethoven: Piano Sonata 14 “ Moonlight” – Movement I. 2007. Print. 29 June 2013.