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Raindrop Prelude (1838)
Romantic Era (1800-1900)
The Raindrop Prelude No.15 in D flat major op.28 was composed in 1838 by Chopain. This piece has
been composed to be played by the piano. The piece comes from the romantic era. The structure of this
piece is ternary form. This consists of three sections. A B A and then the Coda. The structure is like a
rainstorm. Section A and section B are different from each other as the key modulates from the tonic
key of Db major to the dominant Ab major in section B, then returns back to the tonic key in the second
section A. In section A there is a use of legato notes so the notes are long and sustained.
The dynamics of this piece vary throughout the different sections. This piece matched the way a
rainstorms is, this is shown through the dynamics as in section A the dynamics are piano (p) like how a
storm will start will a soft drizzle. In section B the dynamics build up to become forte (f) and then the
dynamics go back to being piano.
Due to the piece only being composed to be played by the piano the texture of the piece is homophonic
but at the coda it becomes monophonic. To add to the texture a pedal note is played on the left hand
throughout the piece like a falling raindrop. The pedal note played is an Ab Major. Even though the
piece is in Ab note, there is a use of chromatic notes, which adds to the harmony. The prelude uses a
The preludes tempo is tempo rubato, the tempo varies throughout the different sections and the time
signature is 4/4, so there are 4 beats in a bar.
The melody uses pivot notes and in section A the melody is step like shape and is repeated. In section B
the melody uses augmented noted then in the coda the melody uses the highest notes of the prelude. To
end the piece Chopain uses a plagal cadence.
The piece overall is like a rainstorm due to the structure, the change and modulation of dynamics and
harmonic devises that are used such as the pedal note being played to represent the falling raindrop.
Expressionism (20th Century)
Schoenberg composed Peripetie in 1909. The piece is from the era where expressionism was very popular.
The piece only expresses one emotion. The tonality of this piece is atonal there is no set key for this set
work. The piece is in Ronda form, there are five sections: A, B, A, C, A. The reason that Schoenberg did not
have a set key, was because he wanted to rebel from the romantic era and in expressionism music there was
a lot of dissonance. The set work only expresses one emotion.
The tempo of the piece varies, as in section A the tempo is Sehr rasch, and then in bar 10 is tempo rubato.
Whereas in section C the tempo is calmer, rugiher and in bar44 the tempo becomes hetfig. The dynamics
start of pianissimo and the piece ends with the dynamics being fortissimo but the final chord is played
pianissimo. There are three main motifs in the piece and each motif is based on a hexachord. Motif A open
the movement, It is played by the clarinet, bass clarinet and three bassoons. Motif B is then played on the
flute, piccolo, oboes and cor anglais. The three ways in which the motifs develop are through imitation,
diminuation and inversion.
Schoenberg used a full orchestra to play this piece he used a klangfarbenmelodie so it created a different
timbre, this was when there was a quick change between the families playing the melody. He used each
instruments different pitch to create dissonance. Schoenberg used two different voices, hauptstimme and
nebenstimme these were the principle and secondary voices. The principle voice was the most important
voice out of the two. At the end of the piece the double bass plays a tremolo chord in a very high pitch,
which creates an uncomfortable edge to the piece. The piece crescendos at the end and finishes with a