GCSE Music Analysis – Frédéric Chopin – Raindrop Prelude

By Anthropophobia

Raindrop Prelude General Points

– Raindrop Prelude is one in a collection of 24 preludes, one of each in the 12 Major and 12 Minor keys.
– Composed in 1839.
Light repeated quavers heard throughout sound like raindrops, hence ‘raindrop prelude’.

Key Features Of The Romantic Period

– Music is more expressive and emotive.
– Rich chromatic harmonies and lots of dissonance.
Modulation between keys.
– Pieces of music are much longer.

Instrumentation And Dynamics

– Written for piano.
– Uses the middle and lower range of the piano.
– This work is not virtuosic and the focus is on the legato tone.
– There is a wide range of dynamics (pp-ff).
– Lots of crescendos and diminuendos so there are no sudden contrasts or changes in dynamics.



Section A: Db Major quavers in the left hand and the melody in the right hand.
Section B: C# Minor quavers in the right hand and melody in the left hand.
Section A: Db Major but this time finishes with a brief coda.
– The piece is written in turnary form (ABA)



– Time signature is 4/4 throughout.
– Use of septuplet in bars 4 and 23.
Rubato is used in the recording, this means that it is played at a flexible tempo for added expressive effect.
Repeated quavers are a unifying rhythmic feature throughout this piece.

Melody And Texture

– Decorated with ornaments e.g. acciaccatura in bar 4 and a turn in bar 11.
– In section B the melody is in the bass line with a narrower range and longer notes.
– Homophonic texture (apart from 2 bars at the end which are monophonic).

Tonality And Harmony

– Db Major.
Diatonic harmonies with the occasional chromaticism.
Modulates to the enharmonic tonic minor.
– Sections A and B both end in imperfect cadences but the whole prelude ends in a perfect cadence.
Dominant pedal can be heard throughout most of the piece.



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