3.3.2 Scan Through

Scan Through

The next step is to scan through the entire score looking for important sections or changes. Every work and every score has its own appearance. Proceed through to locate large sections that may be delineated by:

  • Actual layout of the instrumentation in the score (in some band scores, for example, the bassoons are written below the saxophones whereas in others they are written between the oboes and clarinets)
  • Language used for expressive indications
  • Double bars and repeats
  • Large texture and density changes
  • Terms designating style changes
  • Key changes
  • Differences in lengths between sections or movements
  • Meter changes

Scanning Haydn’s ‘Drumroll’ Symphony

(Allow at least an hour for this activity)

Find the Eulenberg edition of Haydn’s Symphony No. 103 on the ISMLP website Haydn Symphony

Scan through this movement looking for differences in texture through the movement. Is it thinly scored with slower note values, or thickly scored with constant sixteenth (semiquaver) passages? Are there alterations in texture or appearance from section to section, and are those changes also related to dynamic changes?


Notice that, throughout this movement, the thin scored and thin textured sections are all orchestrated using the strings except in six measures: measures 138 and 139, 141 and 142, and in 220 and 221. Observe how Haydn doesn’t accompany the change of tempo and section to the “Allegro con spirito” with a noticeable change in orchestration, keeping a light texture until measure 48 where he uses the full orchestra for the first time in the piece. This is an example of an abrupt and very contrasting change of texture, very different from the compositional option used between measures 102 and 109 where Haydn builds up an orchestral tutti gradually. Take note of these and other large scale observations you’ve made and later check if they align with any special events in terms of the formal structure of the piece.

Scroll to Top