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Music GCSE Notes Romanticism - an artistic movement in Europe in which
the artist was more concerned with feelings and
emotions than with form
Augmented 6th chord - chord which contains an
The Romantic Era: 1800-1900 augmented 6th interval
Diminished 7th - a chord made up of superimposed
F. Chopin minor thrid intervals
Dominant 13th - chord V with the added 13th note
Piano Prelude No.15 in Db major (1838) Neopolitan chord - chord of the flattened supertonic in
the first inversion
Virtuoso performer - someone who has mastered the
A B A1 skills and techniques of their art form
Soft pedal - pedal which softens the tone of the music
Bars 127 Bars 2875 Bars 76end
Sustaining pedal - removes the dampers and sustains
Major key, long melody Minor key, new melody A shorter version of the the piano note, allowing them to vibrate freely
heard several times heard mainly in the bass opening A section Cantabile - singing style
Tempo rubato - robbed time pull back or speed up the
It is in ternary form - A B A1 tempo for expression
Acciaccatura - a note played quickly before the main
Chopin prelude in D Flat bars 1 4 note
Dominant pedal - repeated note on the dominant note
of the key
Inverted pedal - a repeated note as the highest part in
a musical texture
Pivot note - a note common to both keys and used to
pivot between two different keys
The piece opens in D flat major. Look at the melody of the four opening bars. Notice the:
· time signature of 4/4 (C refers to common time)
· key signature of D flat major The melody is supported by broken chords
· melodic line which falls and then rises in a long curve so the texture is homophonic.
· septuplet in the final bar where 7 semi-quavers are played in the time of 4 (the septuplet is
preceded by a grace note a single note ornament) Most of the opening is based on chords 1
and V the tonic and dominant, which in
this case are D flat and A flat.
Opening of a section B
The first chord is the tonic.
Repeated A flat quavers (the raindrops) are
used from the beginning these act as a
pedal throughout the piece.
Don't confuse this with the piano pedal. The
word 'pedal' is used here to mean a
repeated note played against changing
A flat is the dominant of D flat major, so this
is a dominant pedal.
Return of section A - final section
The key has now returned to D flat major.
This section is much shorter than the
opening A section. The opening four bars
are very similar to the opening of the piece
but this time the septuplet is replaced with
The next phrase is cut short, the pedal stops
briefly and is followed by an eight-bar coda.
The coda opens an unaccompanied melody
Look at the opening bar of Section B. Notice the: when there is only one line, this is known as
1. new key signature of C sharp minor this uses an enharmonic modulation a monophonic texture.
2. sotto voce marking The prelude ends pp (very quietly) with a
3. repeated quavers in the treble clef (right hand) perfect cadence. A perfect cadence uses
4. long melody in the bass clef (left hand), mostly in crotchets chord V (the dominant, in this case A flat)
If you look at the piano you will see that the note D flat is the same note as C followed by chord I (the tonic, in this case D
sharp it is the enharmonic equivalent. A modulation is a change of key. flat). Perfect cadences sound final so are
often used at the end of compositions.
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