As mentioned above, conventional analysis of form involves an identification and labeling of a great assortment and variety of themes, and a harmonic and tonal analysis to indicate how a typical tonal scheme is exemplified (or not) in a piece of music, and how that music conforms to similar formal designs. A rhythmic analysis demonstrates how the composer uses formal conventions, i.e., phrases, periods, sentences and larger forms, to create a phrase rhythm consisting of all levels of metric structure, that interacts with hypermeter. A phrase rhythm analysis further shows how it is possible to give primacy to a rhythmic process while other aspects—harmony, melody, orchestration, etc., play supportive roles.
To perform an analysis like the following, further study of rhythmic aspects of form must be undertaken, including the nature of seams (the boundaries between phrases), elision (the overlapping of phrases at their seams), phrase expansion, and the interaction of phrase rhythm and hypermeter. The analysis given below, however, should not be difficult to follow.
This sample analysis attempts to demonstrate how the metrical prototype of the eight-measure sentence may be manipulated by the composer, in this case Mozart, to expressive effect.