The Symphony is in four movements:
II. Allegretto scherzando - The second movement is thought by some to be a humorous imitation of a metronome.
III. Tempo di Menuetto - A minuet in the style of a Haydn peasant stomp.
IV. Allegro vivace - Beethoven has plenty of surprises in this last movement. 'Wrong' notes played to good effect, the kettle drums tuned to octaves instead of 5ths are two examples.
The 8th Symphony sits between two of Beethoven's mightiest compositions, the 7th and the 9th. That it sits and thumbs its nose a little at them is no mistake, for Beethoven quite often countered a piece of serious and noble intentions with a piece more light-hearted. Beethoven's notorious sense of humor shines through this symphony and makes it one of his best, if not most popular.