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I am studying GCSE Edexcel Music and would like to know if this essay would be suitable for an exam answer... Thanks.
Prelude No.15 or the “Raindrop Prelude” was composed by F.Chopin in the 19th Century. This century is also known as theRomantic Era meaning the improvement of the piano. This entire piece is playedon a solo piano. The improvement to the piano means the piece has a morerounded and smoother sound. Thepiece is known as the “raindrop prelude” due to the one consistent notethroughout that sounds like a raindrop. The melody changes in this piecebecause it is in ternary form. This means that there are 3 distinct parts. In thefirst section, also known as the A section, the melody is played in the righthand meaning it is a higher pitch. In addition to this, there are many dottedrhythms and due to the melody being played in the right hand this section has alighter feel. The second section (section B) has a darker feel because themelody changes and is played in the left hand. Mainly crotchets and minims areused. At the end of the B section the melody changes back to the right hand andthe bass notes are played in octaves. SectionA is played in D Flat Major and section B is played in the C Sharp Minor, theenharmonic minor. Then, both the repeated section A and the coda are played inD flat. The first section consists of 27bars, whereas section B covers half the piece with 47 bars. Section B takes uphalf the piece and is dark, but the piece is linked with the light sound ofraindrops. It then moves on to section A once again but is only 6 bars longthis time and then finishes with a coda lasting just 8 bars. The first Asection and section B both end in imperfect cadences but the final section Aends in a perfect cadence. Thereis no set tempo meaning it is Rubato. This means that the tempo is at the pianist’sdiscretion. Therhythm for this piece contains septuplets and dectuplets (the fitting of 7 or10 notes into 1 beat) and it also uses repeated quavers and dotted rhythms.This makes the piece seem as if it is speeding up. Allof the sections, apart from the coda, are homophonic. Once the coda is played,it becomes monophonic for 2 bars and the changes back to homophonic. There arebroken chords in the left hand in section A and the pedal notes of A flat isplayed in the left hand. B section consists of the pedal note of g sharp beingplayed in double octaves. The coda then uses sustained chords in both the lefthand and the right hand. Throughout, the dominant pedal can be heard. A wide varietyof dynamics is used throughout the piece. This is shown through the use of fand p, with section A being quieter than section B.
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Report 5 years ago
Hum, is this for the essay question at the end? if it is I'd structure it more clearly so you are ticking off all the things they want you to talk about, so if it was structure, tonality, metre and harmony for example I'd write a paragraph on each, just to show that you have talked about everything they want you to. Other than that thou yep I think thats pretty good, you might want to talk about the key change as well when section B starts (it goes to the eharmonic tonic minor) and I'm not sure but is the rubato on the score? I think it might just be the way its played on the recording.
I'm taking my exam this year too!
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Report 5 years ago
Ditto the clearer structure - dividing things up into paragraphs makes things a lot easier both for you and the examiner.

Rubato doesn't mean there is no set tempo - usually this piece is played at a slower tempo. Rubato means the performer can adjust the tempo as they see fit, slowing down or speeding up to make the piece more expressive. You could also link this to the piece being Romantic - rubato is a very Romantic performance trait.

Also, the Romantic era means a lot more than just an improved piano! You could say that Chopin was a Romantic composer, which meant he had access to better pianos, which allowed him to compose more expressive pieces like this one.

Also, call the 'raindrop note' a 'regular quaver ostinato', that's a more accurate musical description than 'consistent note'

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