Musical Complexity Made Clear!


Here is a brief passage, consisting of seven insrumental voices,  from the second movement of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony:

Voice One: just the cellos:


Voice Two: added violas three notes above


Voices Three and Four: added bassoon and clarinet octave leaps


Voice Five: added double bass melody


Voice Six: added second violin melody


Voice Seven: added first violins, completing the ensemble

 First measures of the passage

First measures of the passage


Thanks to Benjamin Zander for this illuminating exercise.