Midges and Summer Thunder

summer 2 pics (1)Analysis and other activities inspired by study of the slow movement of Summer from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.

The structure of the 2nd movement of Summer is all about a slow melody with thunderous interruptions.

  • Have a look at this:

summer2 examples1

  • What is it?
  • What’s missing?
  • Copy it out correctly either through listening to a recording (tricky option!), or by looking at the score (easy option!).


  • How about this…what is it?summer2 examples
  • It’s a beautiful melody – why not learn to play it on your instrument – you may need to transpose it to fit the register.
  • What’s missing from this one?

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summer 2 pics (4)



  • What’s missing? It’s the thundery interruptions.
  • Compose some thundery interruptions of your own, and surround this melody with them.

The melody also has some beautiful harmonies, as Vivaldi gently passes through the tonic of G minor to the relative major, Bb major, and back again.

  • Find these chord sequences in the 2nd movement:
  1. Bb   Bdim7   Cm   C#dim7   D   Gm   Ab   D7   D9   D7   C#dim7   D   Gm
  2. Gm   D7   D   Gm
  3. Gm   Dm   Cm   D7   C#dim7   D   Gm
  4. Gm   Adim   F7   Bb   Eb   Bb   F   Bb
  • A lovely idea would be to compose a melody of your own using this lovely chord sequence.


summer 2 pics (2)summer 2 pics (3)


Here’s the sonnet that inspires this 2nd movement:

summer 2 sonnet

  • I think this sonnet directly affects the structure, texture and tempo changes in this movement.
  • What do you think?

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