Prelude No. 15 (Raindrop Prelude)

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  • Created by: Viv Leong
  • Created on: 19-04-14 10:11

General features of Romantic music (c. 1800-1900)

  • part of the Romantic movement, which could also be found in art and literature
  • emphasis on expressing wide ranges of feelings and emotions
  • long and developed melody lines
  • freedom for the composer in terms of form and structure
  • extended chords used (7ths, 9ths and 11ths); dominant 13ths were very important
  • also used diminished 7th, augmented 6th, neapolitan chords, etc
  • frequent use of chromatic and discordant harmonies
  • strong and varied dynamic contrasts (pppp-ffff)
  • rise of virtuoso performer led to an increased level of technical demand
  • rise of Nationalism (traditional/folk ideas expressed in music, such as Polish folk melodies in Chopin's work)
  • orchestra expanded, with larger sections and new instruments
  • piano was developed
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Melody

  • cantabile
  • lyrical
  • falling motif
  • periodic phases
  • section A - melody solely in the right hand
  • section B - melody in both hands at different points
  • ornaments in section A
  • rubato used
  • quavers on a pedal note in accompanying hand
    • Ab in the left hand during section A
    • G# in the right/left hands during section B
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Harmony/tonality

  • begins in Db major, modulates to C# minor (enharmonic minor) in section B, returns to Db major for section A2
  • some modulation to chords (related and unrelated) in section A1 and section B
  • mostly diatonic with only a little chromaticism
  • regular cadences used to define the keys
  • perfect cadence at the end
  • use of 7th and 9th chords
  • dominant pedal (Ab in section A; G# in section B)
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Rhythm/metre

  • some complex rhythms used
  • rubato allows performer some freedom for expression
  • repeated quavers are a theme throughout
  • 4/4 throughout
  • use of septuplets and other such rhythms
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Texture

  • broken chords in accompaniment for section A
  • chordal accompaniment in section B
  • right hand plays some octaves in section B
  • homophonic: melody and accompaniment
  • monophonic at the end (in codetta)
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Dynamics

  • different markings for each hand
  • varies from pp to ff
  • lots of crescendos and diminuendos but no sudden contrasts
  • begins softly
  • section A is soft throughout
  • section B varies more but is largely forte (more so than other parts); begins sotto voce
  • ends very piano
  • smorzando at the end (dying away)
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Structure

  • ternary (ABA) with codetta at the end
  • long section B
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