Analysis of the Song 'The Way You Look Tonight'

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The primary theme has two phrases, A (mm 1-9) and B (9-16). The A has semi-phrases (mm 1-5) and (6-8).

17- 27


HC in mm 26-27

The transition is just a modulation of the motive.



PAC in mm36-37

The secondary theme doesn’t change the key but it change in melodic line. It modulates to its V but came back again to I.



PAC in mm 42-43

It is slowly modulating in to its V.




This just the modulation of the themes, it modulates to the key of G then to the key of A. There are no Cadences.




Elided cadence.

PAC in mm 92-93

It is just a repetition of the P-zone in exposition.



No cadence.

Identical to the TR-zone in exposition but it is shortened.



PAC in mm 107-108

Also the repeat of the S-zone in the exposition.



PAC in mm115-116

The closing is like the C-zone in exposition but slightly modulated.


The phrases in exposition are like any other pieces; it has semi phrases. The song uses the motive that has a repetition and also has an alteration in the phrases; it also uses sequences. The piece has a period of two phrases: Antecedent and consequent; and the exposition have two phrases: it has q the main theme and the secondary theme. The length of the exposition is just enough for listeners to determine the theme of the song. It is also enough to have two phrases and at the same time, it is not long enough to bore the listeners.

Listening to this piece was very astonishing compared to what we are currently hearing all over the internet. There are a lot of borrowed chords and modulations in each sentence of the piece that makes the piece very unpredictable in sound yet the transition of each chord is so smooth that it does not hurt the ears. Reading the phrases makes the piece more understandable. It is like there are two people having a conversation with each other. There are questions asked and it is also answered as the music flows. The exposition has AB song form. The A-key shifted to its fifth as it modulates and comes back again to its tonic going to the B section. The B section introduced a different theme or a secondary theme that is different from the main theme.

The recapitulation is sometimes confusing because it is just a repetition of the exposition. After the development, the recapitulation just repeated the exposition but also had some modulation that is naked in the ears. You can only see the modulation when you saw the piece in the paper. The phrase structure of the recapitulation of the secondary theme was first introduced, then the main theme. It is also modulated in a way that it is a bit different from the exposition. Comparing the exposition to the recapitulation helps me identify the theme of the song. What they repeat in the piece made it clearer that the theme is important and it is the main theme of the whole song. They repeat the secondary theme more often as a transition to every borrowed chord and change keys. The secondary theme was more versatile in a musical pattern when it comes to the changing of keys and modulation of the piece. The development of this piece is like a recycled music.

The modulation of the piece used sequences and repetition of the rhythmic patterns in the song. The theme was introduced and at the same time it was modulated and it changed keys in the process. It combines the main theme and the secondary theme and also changed their keys into G-major and went to A-major for a short time before it went back to the main key which is E-flat major going to the recapitulation. G-major is a part if the modulation of the development. It is a borrowed chord which means it is not a part of the tonic scale of the song; it is just borrowed from another key or scale. Its role is to give an impression of excitement and suspense to the listeners so that they will not be bored and as they cannot predict the music itself. It also serves as the transition of the music from E-flat major going to A-major scale. G-major chord gives the piece a chance to shift into different scale degree without giving the listeners a headache when listening.

The harmonic analysis therein measures is in A-major. We can say this because base on the analysis, it has three sharps and all the flats are natural; so the scale that has three sharps is an A-major key. It serves as an extension of the development before it finally moved to the recapitulation. The use of the sharps in the piece is to indicate that the piece is already in the A-major scale and it gives the feeling of excitement to the listeners. This piece is so smooth that it is really hard to distinguish where the development and recapitulation will insert the use of the main theme and the second theme was very creative and effective to the listeners.  The form of the notes is really amazing. It is so amazing that it will let think how each symbol and note represents making it beautiful harmony. I observed that when the treble clef has a fast note running, the bass clef is calm and supports the treble clef in the music. Also, the pattern of each note is like a person in a conversation. It is like the treble clef asks, and the bass clef answers it. When it enters in the development, the music feels so intense and dramatic that when the recapitulation comes in, it goes back to the same calm and cute music just like the exposition. Each phrase has its own figure group where there are different figures in single phrases. It also has multiple figures where it is used simultaneously in different voices.


This piece can be somewhat confusing for people who can’t read notes and a very difficult piece to play. We can say that the late great Joseph Haydn, the creator of this piece, was indeed a genius.

A-major scale

August 01, 2023

Music Literature

Subject area:

Song Poetry

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Expertise Poetry
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