'Prelude No.15 in Db Major' - All you need to know

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  • Created by: esumner
  • Created on: 29-03-15 16:53

Background:

- Written in1839

- From collection of preludes

- Performed in small areas

- 'Raindrop prelude' due to repeated quaver

- Romantic period - focuses on expressing emotions

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Forces and Instrumentation:

- Played on a piano

- Uses middle and lower ranges

- Sustaining pedal creates legato melodies

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Structure:

- Ternary form (ABA structure)

- Small ternary form in the A section

- Finishes with a codetta

- A section - Db major, lyrical melody accompanied by quavers in bass

- B section - C sharp minor, melody is in the bass

- A section - Db major, opening returns, shorter, ends with a coda

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Melody:

- A - played in right hand

- B - played in left hand

- Repeated pedal note of Ab creates a sense of falling rai

- A - melody is characterised by a falling motif of F-Db-Ab

- B - melody is in the bass and uses a narrower range

- Ornaments such as acciaccatura and a turn are used to create interest and decorate the melody

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Rhythm, Metre, and Tempo:

- Simple quadruple metre of 4/4

- Septuplet and dectuplet used

- Dotted rhythms used

- Repeated quavers are used throughout

- Played legato and unhurried with tempos 'Sostenuto' and 'Rubato'

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Harmony and Tonality:

- Db major

- Modulates to C sharp minor, the enharmonic tonic minor in section B and back again

- Dominant pedal is Ab and in B, the enharmonic equivalent of G sharp is used

- Mainly diatonic with some chromaticism

- Sections A and B both end in imperfect cadence

- Whole thing ens in a perfect cadence

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Texture:

- Melody dominated homophony

- Short monophonic passage in coda

- A: melody in right hand is supported by broken chords in the left hand

- B: melody in left hand with repeated quavers. 

- At climaxes, pedal is doubled at the octave to thicken the texture

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Dynamics and Expression:

- Lots of crescendos and diminuendos

- WIde range of dynamics but no sudden changes

- A is quieter than B

- Music is not particularly virtuosic, but is simle and lyrical

- Sustaining pedal helps create legato mood

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