Edexcel GCSE Music - Prelude by Chopin

Set of cards to remember key facts about Prelude number 15 in D flat major by chopin

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Harmony & Tonality

Harmony and Tonality

It's Diatonic- it has a definite key- D flat major

BUT it also has a few chromatic notes- this hides the major hamony so it the harmony ends up sounding ambiguos.

It has a key change into the tonic minor (to D flat major) C sharp minor

Near the end it returns to the major key and ends with a perfect cadence.

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Rythmn and Metre

Rythmn and Metre

It's in common, 4:4, time. It uses some triplets  and there are dotted rythmns too. There may be more to add here.

One unusual rythmic feature is the septuplet in bars 4 and 23, in bar 79 there is a dectuplet .  In the recorded performance rubato is sometimes used, this means that the pianist changes the length of some notes in order to make the music more expressive.  

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Structure and Form

Structure and Form

The piece is in ternary form (ABA). In the A section the melody is in the right hand whilst the accompaniment is in the left hand.  In the B section they swap and then reverts back again for the repeat of the final A section.   Also the A sections are in D flat major wheras the B sections in the C sharp minor and the B section has more dynamic varioation including soem crescendos and some fortissimos(ff). The piece ends with a short coda.

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At the start the melody is lyrical in the right hand and it is decorated with  ornaments like acciacatura and turn.  It features dotted rythmns and chromaticism.  In the B section the melody moves to the bass  and there are longer notes: more minims, semibrieves and crotchets as compared to the many quavers in section A. The melody of the B section starts with a rising stepwise sequence.  The whole piece is mainly made up of 4 and 8 bar phrases.

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Prelude number 15 in D flat major - Opus 28 - 'Raindrop' by Chopin was written in 1839.

Prelude simply means "brief opening that sets the mood".

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  • The piece's texture is melody and accompaniment although the parts swap between the hands
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Dynamics, Instrumentation/Timbre and Tempo


  • The A section is mainly piano with a few small crescendos and dimminuendos
  • The B section has more varied dynamics with some large crescendos from piano to fortissimo.
  • When it returns to the A section there is more than the original variation: p, f, and pp as well as a Ritenuto in the penultimate bar.


  • The piece is for piano.
  • At the beginning 'Sostenuto' is written meaning sustained.


  • There is no tempo marking on the piece
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this information was very useful brilli

Kate Gotel





Wow. What did you end up getting for music GCSE in the end? I'm struggling so much with music! :(

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