The song Prelude no.15 by Chopin, also known as the raindrop prelude is written in ternary form, which means it's an ABA structure. It's structure unlike many other preludes has a very clear Ternary form structure with a coda at the end to finish the piece nicely. Section A is written in Db, while section B is written enharmonically in C# minor. Although it is in Ternary form the piece can be split into 4 parts. The Coda, A, B, and A again.
Melody and Rhythm
Just like the name of the piece, Raindrop, throughout the piece sustained notes are used to act as the continuous raindrops falling. During the piece such as in the first bar, Chopin uses descending notes and arpeggio's to represent falling raindrops. He also uses septuplets and turns to create similar effects. He changes to the relative minor and dominant keys to create variation within the melody.
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The Raindrop Prelude is written in Db major with 5 flats. Bb, Eb, Ab, Db and Gb. The piece is generally tonal and uses many different relative keys to create variation throughout the piece.
Although the Raindrop Prelude is written and played on one piano the texture is generally quite thick throughout. Chopin, in the B section, uses a technique called doubling to create a powerful and a build up of the texture. This is where a note is played in octaves in both hands creating a more emotional feeling as well, as a feature of romantic music. The texture could be described as both polyphonic and homophonic as the melody above the pedaled notes is more complex but fits in with many of the sustained notes.
Use of Piano.
Because Prelude no. 15 is written for piano Chopin uses the abilities of the piano very well to create variation among sections. For example, in section B the melody is played in the Left hand rather than the Right which created a low forceful and powerful sound. Also by using pedaled notes in both the harmony and melody the sound of the piano created the feel of raindrops. Chopin also wrote Prelude no. 15 because many pieces of music were created for the piano in the Romantic era as the instrument was developed and made bigger which enables it to create Cantabile sounds and sustained slurs with pedals. Also piano's were now able to make larger ranges of dynamics, articulation and pitches because of the use of hammers on strings and the extension of octaves.
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