GCSE Music Analysis - Frédéric Chopin - Raindrop Prelude
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.
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)
- 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
- 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.
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