GCSE Music Analysis - Frédéric Chopin - Raindrop Prelude

Updated on May 9, 2012

Raindrop Prelude General Points

- Raindrop Prelude is one in a collection of 24 preludes, one of each in the 12 Major and 12 Minor keys.
- Composed in 1839.
- Light repeated quavers heard throughout sound like raindrops, hence 'raindrop prelude'.

Key Features Of The Romantic Period

- Music is more expressive and emotive.
- Rich chromatic harmonies and lots of dissonance.
- Modulation between keys.
- Pieces of music are much longer.

Instrumentation And Dynamics

- Written for piano.
- Uses the middle and lower range of the piano.
- This work is not virtuosic and the focus is on the legato tone.
- There is a wide range of dynamics (pp-ff).
- Lots of crescendos and diminuendos so there are no sudden contrasts or changes in dynamics.

Frédéric Chopin.
Frédéric Chopin.

Structure

Section A: Db Major quavers in the left hand and the melody in the right hand.
Section B: C# Minor quavers in the right hand and melody in the left hand.
Section A: Db Major but this time finishes with a brief coda.
- The piece is written in turnary form (ABA)


Rhythm

- Time signature is 4/4 throughout.
- Use of septuplet in bars 4 and 23.
- Rubato is used in the recording, this means that it is played at a flexible tempo for added expressive effect.
- Repeated quavers are a unifying rhythmic feature throughout this piece.

Melody And Texture

- Lyrical!
- Decorated with ornaments e.g. acciaccatura in bar 4 and a turn in bar 11.
- In section B the melody is in the bassline with a narrower range and longer notes.
- Homophonic texture (apart from 2 bars at the end which are monophonic).

Tonality And Harmony

- Db Major.
- Diatonic harmonies with the occasional chromaticism.
- Modulates to the enharmonic tonic minor.
- Sections A and B both end in imperfect cadences but the whole prelude ends in a perfect cadence.
- Dominant pedal can be heard throughout most of the piece.

Questions & Answers

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      • profile image

        Rivi ya Boi 

        5 weeks ago

        Thank you so much! This really helped me to finish a page on my assignment for Chopin. Actually, I should probably be editing right now because it's due next period. OwO

        Thank you again :D

      • profile image

        student at daca 

        18 months ago

        where could you find what instruments he uses

      • profile image

        RaphGeld 

        2 years ago

        Thanks so much, music essay is now finished!

      • profile image

        Geek 

        3 years ago

        ternary

        sorry

      • profile image

        us 

        3 years ago

        thanks

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        3 years ago

        omg this is great!! im defo using it for exams

      • profile image

        that random guy 

        4 years ago

        no worries

      • profile image

        Toby 

        4 years ago

        You should also remember it is in ternary form, but otherwise really insightful.

      • King Posen profile image

        Peter 

        4 years ago

        Thanks. Exam in 30 minutes

      • profile image

        Dominic Reynolds 

        4 years ago

        thanks so much...exam on monday!

      • profile image

        Anastasia Bunce 

        4 years ago

        so useful thanks so much!

      • profile image

        zaman 

        4 years ago

        this really helped- but could you please make the analysis more specific like harmony being separate from tonality and analyse them in more depth?

      • profile image

        just somebody 

        4 years ago

        this page is really helpful, thanks!

      • profile image

        ben 

        4 years ago

        i can tell you don't actually know what you are talking about, and i'm a mere student

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        4 years ago

        of course it isn't a virtuoso performance, it's grade 6 at it's best, she is right to say that it isn't.

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        4 years ago

        Under 'Instruments and Dynamics' you've put that this piece is not virtuosic but it actually is because it demands immense technical skill?

      • Anthropophobia profile imageAUTHOR

        Anthropophobia 

        5 years ago

        No problem, good luck to all of you with your exam tomorrow!

      • profile image

        Lucie 

        5 years ago

        Tis has helped me so much for my exam tomorrow. thanks :D the textbook makes it seem so much more complicated. Cheers for this

      • profile image

        Josh 

        5 years ago

        aah the fun thing is that at first it seems like a massive job just to remember some of this stuff but now you look at it in this form and well i think its soo easy, thanks

      • profile image

        Harrison 

        5 years ago

        Thanks for this, it has really helped me throughout my revision! Again thanks Anthropophobia, I owe you one.

      • profile image

        woody 

        5 years ago

        i have an exam on this oops i don't get this 1 bit

      • Anthropophobia profile imageAUTHOR

        Anthropophobia 

        5 years ago

        Thank you! Good luck with the revision!

      • profile image

        Patrick 

        5 years ago

        Really fantastic notes my friend! These have really helped in my revision!

      • Anthropophobia profile imageAUTHOR

        Anthropophobia 

        5 years ago

        Great that I could help you! Best of luck with your essay. :)

      • profile image

        MitsukiManga 

        5 years ago

        Thank you for the help! Wouldn't have been able to do my music essay without these good points :)

      • Anthropophobia profile imageAUTHOR

        Anthropophobia 

        6 years ago

        No problem! All the best in the exam tomorrow! :)

      • profile image

        Anonymous (well more or less) 

        6 years ago

        Thankyou so much for the info on all the edexcel pieces, they've been a brilliant substitute for our "absent" teacher

      • Anthropophobia profile imageAUTHOR

        Anthropophobia 

        6 years ago

        Thank you, I'm glad you found it useful.

        Good luck in the exam!

      • profile image

        Student 

        6 years ago

        Really helpful, will definitely use this information in the exam!

        Thanks!

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