Chapter XI. Developing Melody
Exploring Theory with Practica Musica

Figure 19. Blue and yellow motives played together

Once the theme has been stated, Beethoven immediately breaks it apart into melodic fragments. The three primary motives are highlighted in different colors above. First, we hear the blue section and the yellow section played together by the first and second violins. The blue section is given to the second violins, while the first violins play one of the many variations of the yellow section (figure 19):

The "yellow motive" is repeated and transformed throughout the movement -- sometimes as an ascending figure and other times descending, identifiable by its characteristic rhythm. (figure 20):

Figure 20. Repetition of the yellow motive

Early in the movement, Beethoven extends his theme by forming a sequence out of the "green motive." Then the yellow motive in ascending form leads up to this cheerful return of the pastoral theme by the oboe, again extended by sequence (figure 21):

Figure 21. Extension of the theme
Figure 22. Sequence from green motive

In the last few bars of the movement we hear a solo flute play a longer version of the sequence from figure 21. Beethoven has taken a brief and simple theme and used its parts to create a large and complex work. Creative use of these techniques of thematic transformation is key to writing meaningful music.