Chopin's Raindrop Prelude

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Shoshana Dunner
AP Music Theory
Miss. Evans
May 3rd 2013
Final Project: Prelude in D Flat major Op.28
Chopin’s Raindrop Prelude was composed during the romantic period (1820-1900) and completed in 1839. During the romantic period, most composers portrayed feelings and nature in their work. In addition, they used a wide range of dynamics with lots of sudden changes, using sforzandos and accents, to dramatize their music. The music was more expressive using extra instructions as well as tempo markings like dolce (sweetly) or it could change speeds many times. The use of extra notes was common and made romantic pieces more interesting and created dissonance to help portray emotions. The timbre of the pieces increased as more woodwind and percussion instruments were added as well as more notes to the brass instruments. Such changes created more of a range of texture, timbre and dynamics- piano seemed to be the most important instrument of the time.

In Frederic Chopin’s Prelude No. 15 in Db Major, there is only one instrument; the piano. He wrote 28 preludes, one in every key, and this is the only one marked as sostenuto (sustained). This sustained tempo gives the piece a slow, held back tempo and the pedal is frequently used as a result. Generally, this piece is homophonic because it uses melody and accompaniment. The form of this piece is ternary form (ABA). Section A is in Db major and Section B modulates into C# minor- enharmonic equivalents. There is a constant quarter note used in both sections. In section A it is the Ab and in section B is it a G# but those are both the same notes, however they are notated differently because of the key change from Db major of the A section to c# minor of the B section. This repeated pedal note creates a feeling of raindrops, hence the ‘informal’ name of this prelude being the raindrop prelude.

With ternary form, we find that there is a contract between the A section and the B section. Section A (measures 1-27) is...
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