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Prelude in Db major
The Preludes by Chopin
Written: Between 1835 and 1835
The piece is loosely in ternary form, and falls into 3 unbalanced sections.
Section A is 27 bars long and is in the key of Db major. Section B is 47 bars long
and in the tonic major of C# major. Section A is repeated, for a mere 6 bars and
then the codetta ends the piece in Db major and lasts for 8 bars. Section A has
a light and dreamy feel to it and is decorated with ornaments. Section B
sounds darker and more depressing. The raindrop sound is made by continually
repeating the G#.
The piece is written for a solo piano. Chopin uses careful use of the pedals, and
the sustaining pedal is used expressively. The piece is played cantabile and
legato with the use of rubato playing.
The main chords used are the tonic Db and the dominant C#. They are heard in
root positions as well as first and second inversion. Chopin frequently uses
chords V7 at cadences. Chopin includes chromatic chords to add more colour
and expression to the piece, which is a feature of the romantic period.
Section A starts off with the notes F, Db and Ab descending, which is the chord
of Db major. The right hand plays the melody here, while the left hand plays a
broken chord of Db major. The markings for this piece are sostenuto and piano.
The pedal note used throughout the piece is Ab dominant. The decoration
acciaccatura is used. Within the section A, a new second theme is added, this
time ascending, with some chromatic notes. At the end the Ab becomes
written as G#, and enharmonic change. This leads the piece into section B.
Section B is in the key of C#. It is played on the lower region of the piano with a
wide range of dynamics used. The melody is mainly in the left hand now with a
G# pedal note in the right hand. This is called an inverted dominant pedal.
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The texture of section A is melody dominated homophony, and the texture of
section B is a homophonic texture throughout.
Section A is made up of mainly 4 bar phrases. Overall section A has the phrase
structure of ABA (ternary form). Phrase A begins with a falling arpeggio of Db
major, followed by an ascending stepwise movements before descending back
to the tonic. Phrase B starts ascending in steps before descending in quavers.
There are some grace notes to decorate the piece.…read more