Chopin's Piano Prelude in D Flat Major

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Chopin’s Piano Prelude is otherwise known as the Raindrop Prelude because of its 3 note falling motif which is varied and repeated throughout the piece. In bar 1 there is a D major triad (F, D flat, A flat) which illustrates the motif, which is then repeated in the next few bars. This piece also contains a technique called rubato which is the freedom of pulse i.e. the tempo varies throughout the piece. There is a perfect cadence (chord V to I) at bar 4 followed by ornamentation over a dominant 7th chord in a septuplet figuration incorporating an acciaccatura (crushed note). Chopin also uses an ominous crotchet tread in this piece towards to end of the A section in order to create a feeling of dread or anticipation. Chopin’s piano music is a perfect example of the Romantic ideal for expressing the poetic feelings and emotions through the medium of sound. He uses long lyrical melodies (see the whole of the A section, most prominently in bars 12-16, and bars 79-80) to convey these emotions, as well as arpeggios in bars 14, 16 and 18. There are also broken chord accompaniments, and a falling motif in bar 1 which help convey the mood. Also the aforementioned rubato is used, towards the end of the B section and in the codetta. Chopin also uses virtuosic display in bars 79-80, bar 17 and bar 4 to make the piece more ornamented and impressive. Ranges of dynamics are used, particularly in bar 35, and bars 27-28. Sostenuto and sotto voce are also used to convey the poetic mood. The piece is played a la cantabile (in a singing style). Structure This piece is loosely in ternary form (ABA) and falls into 3 quite unbalanced sections; A (bars 1-27) in the key of D flat major, B(bars 28-75) in the key of C sharp major, repeated section A (bars 75-81) in the key of D flat major, and the Codetta (bars 81-99) in the key of D flat major. This piece is unusually structured for a

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