Piano Sonata No. 11 (Mozart)

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Piano Sonata in A major
No. 11
by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
The beginning
KeyA major
CatalogueK. 331 / 300i
StyleClassical period
Composed1783 (1783)
MovementsAndante grazioso, Menuetto, Alla turca – Allegretto
About this soundPlay 

The Piano Sonata No. 11 in A major, K. 331 / 300i, by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is a piano sonata in three movements. Mozart likely composed the sonata while in Vienna or Salzburg by around 1783, although Paris and dates as far back as 1778 have also been suggested.[citation needed]

The sonata was published by Artaria in 1784, alongside Nos. 10 and 12 (K. 330 and K. 332).[1]


The sonata consists of three movements:

  1. Andante grazioso
  2. Menuetto
  3. Alla turca – Allegretto

All of the movements are in the key of A major or A minor; therefore, the work is homotonal. A typical performance of this entire sonata takes about 20 minutes.[2]

I. Andante grazioso[edit]

Sound files based on MIDI files from the Mutopia Project

Since the opening movement of this sonata is a theme and variation, Mozart defied the convention of beginning a sonata with an allegro movement in sonata form. The theme is a siciliana, consisting of two 8-measure sections, each repeated, a structure shared by each variation. The tempo marking is Andante grazioso (walking pace, gracefully). It is in the key of A major.[citation needed]

II. Menuetto[edit]

The second movement of the sonata is a standard minuet and trio movement in A major. The minuet is 40 measures long, and the trio is 52.[citation needed]

III. Alla turca[edit]

The last movement, marked Alla turca, popularly known as the "Turkish Rondo" or "Turkish March", is often heard on its own and is one of Mozart's best-known piano pieces.[3]

{ \relative c'' {\new PianoStaff<<\new Staff{
\time 2/4 \partial 4 \tempo "Allegretto" 4=126 b16-4\p^"P.T. H.S."( a gis a-1 c8-.-3) r d16-3( c b c e8-.-4) r f16-4( e dis e-1 b'-4 a gis a b a gis a c4->) a8-.-2 c-.-4 \appoggiatura {g!32[_"(a)" a]} b8-.->[ <<fis-2 a-.-4>> <<e g-.>> <<fis a-.]>> \appoggiatura {g32-2[ a]} b8-.->[ <<fis-2 a-.-4>> <<e g-.>> <<fis a-.]>> \appoggiatura {g32-2[ a]} b8-.->[ <<fis a-.-4>> <<e g-.>> <<dis-2 fis-.-4]>> e4-- \bar ":..:" <<c8-1\mp e-.-3>> <<d! f!-.>> <<e-1 g-.-3>> <<e g-.>> a16-4( g f e) <<{d4->-2-4}\\{b8( g)}>> <<c e-.>> <<d f-.>>
}\new Staff{
\clef "bass" r4 a,,8-5([ <<c e-.)>> <<c e-.>> <<c e-.]>> a,([ <<c e-.)>> <<c e-.>> <<c e-.]>> a,-.[ <<c e-.>> a,-. <<c e-.]>> a,([ <<c e-.)>> <<c e-.>> <<c e-.]>> e,-.->[ <<b' e-.>> <<b e-.>> <<b e-.]>> e,-.->[ <<b' e-.>> <<b e-.>> <<b e-.]>> e,-.->[ <<b' e-.>> b,-. b'-.] e,4-- r c8-.[ c'-. e,-. e'-.] g,4 r
}>> } }

Mozart himself titled the rondo "Alla turca".[4] It imitates the sound of Turkish Janissary bands, the music of which was much in vogue at that time.[5]

Various other works of the time imitate this Turkish style, including Mozart's own opera Die Entführung aus dem Serail. In Mozart's time, the last movement was sometimes performed on pianos built with a "Turkish stop", allowing it to be embellished with extra percussion effects.[citation needed]

The third movement is a rondo in the form A–B–C–D–E–C–A–B–C–coda, with each section (except the coda) being repeated.[citation needed]

  • Section A: This section, in A minor, consists of a rising sixteenth-note melody followed by a falling eighth note melody over a staccato eighth-note accompaniment. It is eight measures long.
  • Section B: This section introduces new material in a melody in thirds and eighth notes before varying the A section with a crescendo before falling back to piano by a modification of Section A.
  • Section C: A forte march in octaves over an arpeggiated chord accompaniment. The key changes to A major.
  • Section D: A piano continuous sixteenth note melody over a broken-chord accompaniment. This section is in F minor.
  • Section E: A forte scale-like theme followed by a modification of section D.
  • Coda: A forte theme consisting mostly of chords (arpeggiated and not) and octaves. There is a brief piano restatement of the theme in the middle of the coda. The movement ends with alternating A and C octaves followed by two A-major chords.

Relationships to later compositions[edit]

The theme of the first movement was used by Max Reger in his Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Mozart (1914) for orchestra.[6] Dave Brubeck's "Blue Rondo à la Turk" (1959) is not based on or related to the last movement.[7]

2014 autograph discovery[edit]

In 2014, Hungarian librarian Balazs Mikusi discovered four pages of Mozart's original score (autograph) of the sonata in Budapest's National Széchényi Library. Until then, only the last page of the autograph had been known to have survived. The paper and handwriting of the four pages matched that of the final page of the score, held in Salzburg. The original score is close to the first edition, published in 1784.[8]

In the first movement, however, in bars 5 and 6 of Variation V, the rhythm of the final eight note of the bar was altered by various editions throughout time. In the menuetto, the last quarter beat of bar 3 is a C-sharp in most editions, but in the original autograph an A is printed.[9] In the first edition, an A is also printed in bar 3, as in the original, but on the other hand a C-sharp is printed in the parallel passage at bar 33, mirroring subsequent editions.[10]

In September 2014, Zoltán Kocsis gave the first performance of the rediscovered score.[11]


  1. ^ Irving, John (2013). Understanding Mozart's Piano Sonatas. Ashgate. p. 54. ISBN 9781409494096.
  2. ^ Robins, Brian. Piano Sonata No. 11 in A Major ("Alla Turca") K. 331 (K. 300i) at AllMusic. Retrieved 2011-06-01.
  3. ^ "10 incredible, life-changing masterpieces from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart you need in your life". Classic FM. 3 July 2018. Retrieved 13 October 2020.
  4. ^ John Thompson's Modern Course for the Piano: The Fifth Grade Book. The Willis Music Company; Cincinnati, Ohio, 1952.
  5. ^ Schmidt-Jones, Catherine (10 May 2010). "Janissary Music and Turkish Influences on Western Music". OpenStax CNX, 10 May 2010. Retrieved from http://cnx.org/content/m15861/latest/.
  6. ^ "Max Reger's Mozart Variations", presented by Walter Parker, Vermont Public Radio, 19 March 2012
  7. ^ Sleeve notes Archived 5 November 2013 at the Wayback Machine to Time Out, notnowmusic.com
  8. ^ Kozinn, Allan (1 October 2014). "A Mozart Mystery: Sonata Manuscript Surfaces in Budapest". The New York Times. p. C4.
  9. ^ "K. 331 Sonata in A major". Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  10. ^ Mozart, W. A. "Trois Sonates pour le Clavecinou Pianoforte" (PDF). petruccimusiclibrary.org. Retrieved 13 November 2019.
  11. ^ Zalan, Eszter (26 September 2014). "A rediscovered sonata, as Mozart intended". Agence France-Presse. Retrieved 14 February 2015.

External links[edit]