GCSE Music Edexcel - Chopin Raindrop Prelude Revision

Revision on Chopin's Raindrop Prelude

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  • Created by: Frenchie
  • Created on: 12-05-11 19:55
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Chopin's Prelude No.15 in D flat Major. Opus 28
AKA ­ `Raindrop' ­ One of 24 preludes
Written in: 1838 ­ Romantic Era. Criticised for lack of structure and being so full of grief
and anger.
Instrumentation: Piano
Stylistic features
This piece is a perfect example of the Romantic era for expressing poetic feelings and
Nature falls in to subjects favoured for musical expression by Romantic composers. Others
are Love/Death/Tragedy/Natural world/Fantasy/Myths/Folklore/Legends
Cantabile playing ­ legato and singing style
Long melody lines with ornamentation
Spreading arpeggios made possible by development of piano
Broken chords accompaniment with pedalling effects
Romantic Tempo rubato ­ flexible tempo for expression
Varied dynamics with good control
Structure and Tonality
Loose Ternary Form with a codetta.
Section Key Length
A (bars 1-27) Db Major 27 bars
B (bars 28-75) C# Minor (Tonic Minor) 47 bars
A (bars 75-81) Db Major 6 bars
Codetta (bars 81-89) Db Major 8 bars
N.b Notice the very unbalanced sections. Although over half the piece is the middle section,
it is still remembered as the `Raindrop' from section A! The repeat of A is a shortened version
Largely homophonic ­ Melody and chords
Development of piano
Reshaped and enlarged for better sound
Range of notes increased top 7 octaves ­ greater pitch for musical expression
Felt replaced leather on hammers ­ fuller tone
Longer, stronger strings with increased tension
Sustaining and soft pedals developed
Definition of Prelude: A brief opening of a piece that usually leads onto something else i.e. a
fugue (a structure where parts enter at separate times or a piece of different parts ­ polyphonic
texture) However, Chopin's preludes are on their own ­ not followed by another piece. Each
prelude depicts a different mood or emotion.
Keyboard techniques used
Cantabile legato ­ played legato (smoothly) in a singing style. Chopin was the founder of
Cantabile playing
Expressive use of pedals ­ made possible by the development of piano

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Rubato ­ player can be flexible with the tempo ­ allowing more expression
Representations of rain
This prelude was written while Chopin was in Valldemossa, Majorca, during a rainstorm. This is
represented by:
Continuously repeating Ab's in section A in the left hand ­ which is the dominant note of
Db major. (dominant = 5th note of the scale)
Continuously repeating G#'s in section B in the right hand­ the dominant note of C#
N.…read more


Samuel Richardson

A very nice set of detailed notes on Chopin's Prelude in Db Major. Included a nice tabular comparison of section A and section B. 

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