Piano Sonata No. 16 in C Major, K. 545 - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Piano Sonata No. 16 in C Major, K. 545 is one of the most well-known composition written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. This sonata for solo piano was written in 1788, the same year Mozart produced six other piano sonatas. It is commonly known as the ‘Sonata Facile’ or ‘Sonata semplice’, originally referring to the ease of memorization of the piece.

History of the Piece

This piece was intended to serve a pedagogical purpose and most likely was performed at Mozart's own playing lessons. It has only three movements, two of which are in sonata form, which was very unusual in a number of works of this era. The piece later become very popular due to its relatively easier to understand style and structure.

This piece has become a very popular pedagogical teaching material due to its fewer number of movements. Many nineteenth and twentieth century pianists have incorporated the Sonata Facile into their practice and teaching methods. The first published edition of the sonata, in 1796, also helped to broaden its appeal.

Simplified Analysis from the Point of View of Music Theory

The first movement, Allegro, consists of a repeated opening melody, which is later altered with a contrasting section. This section is marked by a sudden dynamic change, from forte to piano. The main theme is then reiterated multiple times.

The second movement, Andante, is constructed with two thematic ideas. The first idea is a slow and lyrical melody, while the second is a more agitated idea. Both of these themes are repeated multiple times throughout the movement.

The third movement, Allegretto, is a brief but energetic finale with witty rhythms and contrapuntal elements. It is both vibrant and dynamic, moving from one section to the next, before ending with a brilliant cadence.

Why is it so Popular?

The sonata, due to its consistence, relative ease and its catchiness, became very popular. It has been a source of inspiration for other composers over the years, including Clementi, Beethoven, and Pleyel. All three incorporated either the whole, or parts of Sonata in many of their own compositions.

Furthermore, this particular sonata had the advantage of being composed in the Classical period, when the popularity of classical music was growing. It soon made its way into the public consciousness and became one of the most popular pieces of the time.

The simplicity of this piece, as well as its accessibility for students, have also contributed to its popularity over the years. Many beginners have tackled this piece, allowing it to be heard in many homes and music studios around the world.


Piano Sonata No. 16 in C Major, K. 545 is one of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's most well-known compositions. Despite its simplicity, this sonata has managed to become an important part of music history, both as a seminal work of the Classical era and as an object of study for students of the piano. The simplicity and accessibility of the sonata has been a key factor in its widespread popularity.

Publication date: 23. 02. 2023