I was listening to Beethoven - Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67:

I have noticed that the opus has two parts: the first part with the famous melody we all know, and the second one which is completely a different one, around 08:43 in the video.

It is interesting to know why an opus has these two different melodies inside of it?

  • This is a great idea to listen the symphonies of Beethoven. I was about 30 years old when I listened the first time to classical Symphonies. But today it is a lot easier to listen and look the youtube videos. What will be helpful - and what we didn't have in our youth was the information you can find today in Wikipedia. It is also interesting to read more about the composer and know his life and the circumstances of the time when a work has been composed. Also the links of Pied Piper are very informativ and it's worth to understand the sonata form. Get it and you will like all symphonies. Commented Oct 17, 2019 at 15:16

1 Answer 1


There are actually four parts to this symphony (called "movements"). The classical symphony has four movements:

  1. An opening movement in sonata form, usually somewhat fast ("allegro")
  2. A slow movement
  3. A minuet or scherzo with trio
  4. An allegro, rondo, or sonata

Usually there is no musical connection between the movements, except for the key. Later composers during what is known as the "Romantic" period, often did return to earlier themes in the later movements of a symphony (e.g. Mahler in his 1st symphony).

A piece in sonata form usually has two contrasting themes which are first played one after the other (called the "exposition"). This is followed by the "development" where the composer explores harmonic and textural possibilities of the themes. Finally the themes are repeated (the "recapitulation").

More at the link.

  • 1
    Beethoven reprises , very brieflly, first movement themes in the last movement of his 9th Symphony Commented Oct 17, 2019 at 12:41
  • 4
    @CarlWitthoft The 9th might be considered to be one of the first "romantic" works
    – PiedPiper
    Commented Oct 17, 2019 at 12:44
  • Ironically, the 4th movement of Beethoven's 5th Symphony quotes the 3rd movement, and the 3rd movement can be said to abuse the same "Fate" rhythmic motif as the 1st movement.
    – Dekkadeci
    Commented Oct 17, 2019 at 16:04

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