Prelude No.15 D flat Major

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  • Created by: Qiao-Chu
  • Created on: 07-04-13 08:55


The Romantic Era

  • Longer and more developed melody lines
  • More freedom with form and structure
  • More complex chords and harmonies
  • More chromatic harmony to express emotions
  • Greater dynamic variation
  • Technically demanding and virtuosic


  • Introductory piece usually linked to another movement
  • Can also be standalone short composition

Programme Music

  • Descriptive, suggesting visual images or 'telling a story'
  • Popular during Romantic Era (approx 19th century)
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Fryderyk Chopin (1810-1849).

Polish Pianist, composer and teacher - child prodigy.

Preferred playing in small intimate gatherings.

Moved from Warsaw to Paris.

Talented and tragic figure who died young.

Alone and aloof, long and difficult relationship with female French novelist George Sand.

Lived a while in Majorca where Preludes were written.

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Enlarged piano for greater sound, seven octaves, higher pitch range, expressive.

Felt replaced by leather on hammers for roudned and fuller tone.

Stringers longer and stronger.

Wooden body frame replaced by metal.

Sustain pedal and soft pedal added.

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ABA ternary form with a short coda

Section A (1-27) (relatively short)

Section B (28-75) (disproportioanlly long)

Section A (75-81) (even shorter)

Codetta (81-89) (shortest)

Two main melodic themes in Section A

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Melody dominated homophony section A - melody and accompaniment

Monophonic for 2 bars in the coda

Pedals (lower, inner, upper) adds variety and expression

Octave doubling brings out melody

Extended turns and ornaments for flourish and interest

Subtle rubato

Broken chords and melody

Section B has full chords in right hand, octaves

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D flat major modulating to C sharp in middle section.

Section A starts D flat major then modulates to A flat minor (tonic minor of dominant) with perfect cadence.

Bars 15-16 perfect cadence to B flat minor.

16-17 back to B flat major.

Section B C sharp minor enharmonic tonic minor.

Repeat of Section A has extended perfect cadences V I V V I.

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Mainly diatonic - notes fo the key, functional harmony related chords.

Section B more chromatic and dissonant.

Perfect cadences establsih keys and modulations, as well as dominant pedal.

Suspensions in Section B.

Use of 7ths and 9ths.

Pedal in bass, inner pedal in middle parts, inverted pedals in upper parts.

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4/4 time with slow tempo.

Repeated quaver movement throughout coda.

Rhythmic decoration such as septuplet bar 23.

Use of rubato.

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pp-ff cresc-dim

Section A soft

Section B loud

Ends quiet

Textual crescendos from thicker writing and octaves.

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Cantabile, lyrical, chorale-like

Falling arpeggios, step movement

Graceful ornamentation

Tempo rubato, expressive


Diatonic Section A

Chromatic Section B

Two main melodic motifs in Section A

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)

 A flat quaver pedal

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