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#1950989 - 08/29/12 02:46 PM Chopin Prelude in E minor Op. 28 No. 4 Study thread
zrtf90 Offline
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Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2230
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
We began a group analysis on this thread Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata, but didn't quite finish.

So we started another thread to fill in some gaps in our knowledge using an easier piece, Bach's Prelude in C.

Now we are progressing to Chopin's Prelude in Em.

The score can be found here: Chopin 24 Preludes
It includes all 24 preludes. Our one starts on page 4.

The sound quality on this isn't great but the performance is, er, better than I could do. Chopin Em Prelude - Martha

Feel free to jump into the conversation at any time. Everyone is welcome, whatever their background, knowledge or experience.

Questions on parts or pieces already covered are not a problem. Our previous threads have not been concise or logically ordered and nobody is expected to trawl through them all again.
__________________________

Start by looking at the score, listening or playing this piece and ask yourself these questions. Don't start by working out the harmonic structure of the piece.

What is the rhythm? Is it the same in each hand?
What is the texture?
Is the melody diatonic or chromatic?
Can you tell what the final cadence is?
Does it modulate?
Do you recognise the form?
Can you SEE where the climax is expected to be? Or where and how he builds and releases tension?

While listening to this: Adele have a read of this interesting article and see what you can apply of it to our Prelude 'The Tingle Factor'

Now feel free to join the discussion. smile



Edited by zrtf90 (08/29/12 05:06 PM)
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#1950999 - 08/29/12 03:12 PM Re: Chopin Prelude in E minor Op. 28 No. 4 Study thread [Re: zrtf90]
Greener Offline
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Registered: 05/29/12
Posts: 1073
Loc: Toronto
Really like the expression in the performance by Martha.

One observation is the tempo rubato, and this is how I remember hearing this as well.

In the score I thought maybe this was indicated by the "Largo", but nope ...

Largo dictionary meaning:
"In a very slow tempo, usually considered to be slower than adagio, and with great dignity. Used chiefly as a direction."

Ah, this is it ... expressivo
Definition: The Italian musical term espressivo is an indication to play expressively, and may also encourage physical expression by the performer. Espressivo allows a performer to convey the mood of a musical composition by taking slight liberties with its articulation and dynamics.

... and I would also add to this tempo?

Lastly, if easier for anyone, I have extracted just the no. 4 for download here

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#1951022 - 08/29/12 03:58 PM Re: Chopin Prelude in E minor Op. 28 No. 4 Study thread [Re: zrtf90]
Gary D. Offline
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Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4649
Loc: South Florida
First question should be: why Largo with cut time? smile
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#1951027 - 08/29/12 04:06 PM Re: Chopin Prelude in E minor Op. 28 No. 4 Study thread [Re: zrtf90]
Gary D. Offline
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Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4649
Loc: South Florida
M1 Em
M4 E7
M7 D7
M11 B7
M13 Em

The first thing I would ask a student do is to just play the music. Listen to recordings too, but beware of copying.

And on YouTube listen to MANY famous people play it.

Then I would ask students to figure out WHY Chopin keeps getting to these chords that LOOK like dom7 chords, and what he is doing with them. smile
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#1951048 - 08/29/12 04:55 PM Re: Chopin Prelude in E minor Op. 28 No. 4 Study thread [Re: Gary D.]
Greener Offline
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Registered: 05/29/12
Posts: 1073
Loc: Toronto
Originally Posted By: Gary D.

The first thing I would ask a student do is to just play the music.


I'm a slow reader (snails pace) but pumped now that I almost have the 2nd twelve figured out.

I have not started (by suggestion) to look at any chords yet. But will do so soon and put more thought around these other analysis aspects.

First though, I am trying to learn and play it.

Another silly question re notation: In bar 15 we have an Ab and in the same bar beat 2 a G#.

What is the reasoning for this? I would have been happy to stay on the Ab.
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#1951051 - 08/29/12 05:02 PM Re: Chopin Prelude in E minor Op. 28 No. 4 Study thread [Re: zrtf90]
zrtf90 Offline
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Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2230
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
They're two different chords, Jeff. It's a spelling thing. We'll look more closely at them when we get to the harmony.

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#1951149 - 08/29/12 07:58 PM Re: Chopin Prelude in E minor Op. 28 No. 4 Study thread [Re: Gary D.]
Greener Offline
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Registered: 05/29/12
Posts: 1073
Loc: Toronto
Originally Posted By: Gary D.

M1 Em
M4 E7

figure out WHY Chopin keeps getting to these chords that LOOK like dom7 chords, and what he is doing with them. smile


Chopin was a clever man, I'd say. These chords sound so simple, but they are not so simple. At least not for me. I've been trying to come up with a name for them without using b5's etc. So here is what I have come up with for filling in the blanks on the first line only.

m1 Em
m2 A13 B7
m3 B11 Bdim7
m4 E7 Em

I'd probably do differently (and easier for sure) if not trying to always include the melody as part of the chord name.

Sorry if jumping around and not where we need to be in this analysis just yet.

Thankfully, I can play it all now, but having a heck of time understanding what it is I'm playing.
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#1951174 - 08/29/12 08:32 PM Re: Chopin Prelude in E minor Op. 28 No. 4 Study thread [Re: Greener]
Gary D. Offline
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Originally Posted By: Greener

Another silly question re notation: In bar 15 we have an Ab and in the same bar beat 2 a G#.

What is the reasoning for this? I would have been happy to stay on the Ab.

I’m GOING to tackle your question. When a piece lives happily in sharps – and theoretically this should be true if we ONLY talk a look at the key signature – then we don’t even have to think about flats. If the piece were purely in E minor, then there would be no problems. It is NOT

This piece is a NIGHTMARE to analyze for reasons that will become apparent later. Chopin’s music is often highly chromatic, which means that at any given point he may be moving from something that HAS to be written in sharps to something that HAS to be written in flats.

And you can get a good idea of this principle by playing the circle of 5ths and thinking about why when we go from Db to Gb to Cb to Fb to Bb it won’t work. At SOME point we have a “switch-over point”, which means something like Db to Gb OR F# to B to E.

Now, if you look in bar 14, you see he gets to something that looks a lot like an F7 chord. The RH is toggling back and forth between B and C, so it’s somewhere between F7 and F7b5

F7 you know, and F7 is F A C Eb. He more or less HAS to spell this that way.

Then in bar 15 he ends up on an E7 chord. Now, since E7 belongs to A major, suggesting sharps, but F7 belongs to Bb major, suggesting flats, the elephant in the room is:

He HAS to change from flats to sharps SOMEWHERE. So you start with what he wrote, assume for the moment that his solution is the most logical, then you try writing it by hand in other ways. You look and look and look for a better solution. You may find one that you like better, but probably not. Our notational system causes bumps and jerks in the notation of chromatic movement, and you just HAVE to write music yourself to find out how and why sometimes it is necessary to flip the spelling of a note – and why there are no perfect solutions!
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#1951292 - 08/30/12 01:12 AM Re: Chopin Prelude in E minor Op. 28 No. 4 Study thread [Re: Greener]
keystring Offline
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Originally Posted By: Greener

Another silly question re notation: In bar 15 we have an Ab and in the same bar beat 2 a G#.

I was writing out my answer while Gary posted his. I think the two answers may be compatible.


It’s not a bad idea to look at your question and this measure, because it may give an idea of the piece as a whole. In fact, I don’t see how we CAN look at the piece by starting in sections, or trying to find cadence points, etc. I could only get at it if starting with an overview.

This Prelude has a pervasive theme in the melody: That C to B happens over and over again. Your chords are descending underneath continually. It’s a gradual chromatic descent, one note or another note, which makes the chords change quality (major, minor, diminished etc. are qualities giving “color” to chords). This is a general nature of the piece.

So because of this, Chopin has to make choices as he makes his chords descend. How do you lower a note by half steps? You have three choices: 1) notes that are a semitone apart like F to E or C to B can be lowered easily that way 2) a sharped note like F# can be lowered by a natural sign (F# to Fnat), 3) adding a flat to a letter (A to Ab). Chopin does all three.

One thing Chopin does consistently in this piece, though he doesn’t do it in all pieces, is he spells all seven chords conventionally. This gives one reason why in m. 15, which you asked about, there is a G#. We have an E7 chord, which is spelled conventionally with a G#.

I’m told that Chopin was a pianist more than any other composer, and that he thought like a pianist. He would chose notation that pianists would recognize easily and would fall into their hands. So in m. 15 where you have the F half dim. becoming Fdim7, it is easier to recognize that Fdim7 when we see FAb than when we see FG#. Meanwhile the music is in cut time, so there is a natural separation between the two halves of the measure.

Therefore, the Ab in the first half of the measure fits nicely with the F half dim -- Fdim7; the G# is correct spelling for the E7, and mid-measure is a good place to make that break.

The next question you might as is “Why did Chopin us B as the top note for F half dim and Fdim7, and not Cb (F Ab Cb D = Ebb)? One reason is that pervasive theme in the melody: B,C -- B,C -- B,C. It would be weird to have a repeated melody suddenly spelled Cb, Cnat -- Cb, Cnat.
--------------
I’m hoping this exploration might give an idea of the nature of the piece as a whole. I don’t think that it is an easy piece to analyze, and some of the chords defy analysis. I’d be tempted to label some chords “part of the downward slither” or similar, and make note of which note is sliding down


Edited by keystring (08/30/12 02:30 AM)

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#1951300 - 08/30/12 01:46 AM Re: Chopin Prelude in E minor Op. 28 No. 4 Study thread [Re: zrtf90]
keystring Offline
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#1951341 - 08/30/12 04:17 AM Re: Chopin Prelude in E minor Op. 28 No. 4 Study thread [Re: keystring]
dire tonic Offline
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Loc: uk south
Originally Posted By: keystring
--------------
I’m hoping this exploration might give an idea of the nature of the piece as a whole. I don’t think that it is an easy piece to analyze, and some of the chords defy analysis. I’d be tempted to label some chords “part of the downward slither” or similar, and make note of which note is sliding down


Which chords have you singled out as defying analysis? It’s a piece I’ve played several times over the years (without ever doing it justice!) but this is the first time I’ve set to naming the chords and aside from one or perhaps two contentious but perfectly co-existent interpretations I don’t see a problem anywhere.

I understand this is a collective effort and a learning process so I won’t spoil the exercise by giving anything away but I’d be interested in knowing which measure/s you feel pose a problem.


Edited by dire tonic (08/30/12 04:27 AM)

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#1951358 - 08/30/12 05:54 AM Re: Chopin Prelude in E minor Op. 28 No. 4 Study thread [Re: zrtf90]
Andy Platt Online   content
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Now after I submitted this for the recital, you open a thread wink

I found harmonic analysis rather tricky with this piece. In the end I simply looked at the chromatic progression of the notes in the bass and looked for those. Although there is no real pattern, just looking at those really helps with the memorization of this piece.
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#1951365 - 08/30/12 06:26 AM Re: Chopin Prelude in E minor Op. 28 No. 4 Study thread [Re: zrtf90]
zrtf90 Offline
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Loc: Ireland (ex England)
There are some discussion points I'd like to raise before we get into the harmonic analysis; the background to the Preludes, an overview of this particular prelude and an exploration of it similar to how we approached the Bach prelude, leaving the naming of chords till last.

Background to the Preludes
Chopin finished composing this collection of pieces while staying at a deserted monastery at Valdemosa, Majorca in 1838. Do you know what treasured music he took with him?

Some of the preludes were composed prior to the journey but many were composed there and this prelude is certainly one of the latter.

The preludes are written in the 24 possible keys, 12 major and 12 minor keys, and are not the first time this was done. Bach's Well Tampered Clavier, Book I and II, were an important precedent. We touched on the development of equal temperament during the Bach Prelude analysis. Perhaps we should have delved deeper then.

Chopin's Preludes are compiled in a different key order than Bach's. Bach ordered his in chromatic ascent from C major, C minor, C# major, C# minor and so on. Chopin compiled his work rising through the cirlcle of fifths with accompanying relative minor, C major, A minor, G major, E minor. Why might he have done that and what constraint would that premise place on the pieces?

Overview of the E minor Prelude
What sort of mood does this piece evoke? How does it achieve that?

What are the four musical devices mentioned in the article on Adele and which ones, if any, apply to the Chopin Prelude, and optionally, to the Bach prelude we've just looked at?

Can you divide the piece into sections and phrases either by listening alone, by looking at the score alone, or both together?

A detailed look at the score
Looking at just the melody, what is it doing? What's happening in bars 1-8 and what would you expect in bar 9? Or in bar 12?
How do bars 13 to 20 differ and what's happening in bars 16-18?

Now looking at just the left hand, and thinking back to what Bach did in his prelude, what is Chopin doing here?

Having looked more closely, do you know, or can you surmise, what other musical devices are being used in this piece to evoke the 'tingle factor'?
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#1951367 - 08/30/12 06:33 AM Re: Chopin Prelude in E minor Op. 28 No. 4 Study thread [Re: Andy Platt]
zrtf90 Offline
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Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2230
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
Originally Posted By: Andy Platt
Now after I submitted this for the recital, you open a thread wink

Not the best timing, Andy, I'm afraid but then again, this is a piece that is likely to stay at your fingertips for many years to come.

Often we return to a piece with renewed interest to find more in it. Charles Cooke wrote of one concert pianist who still finds subtle nuances in the A major prelude.

Hope you get further benefits from the thread. smile We'd love to have you along.
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#1951388 - 08/30/12 07:40 AM Re: Chopin Prelude in E minor Op. 28 No. 4 Study thread [Re: zrtf90]
alsoTom Offline
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Registered: 08/27/12
Posts: 52
Originally Posted By: zrtf90
While listening to this: Adele have a read of this interesting article and see what you can apply of it to our Prelude 'The Tingle Factor'


I may have a go at a bar of this tomorrow, but it is beyond my skill at the moment. However I am keen to follow this discussion. I suspect I will learn quite a bit from it. For example, I have already learned who Adele is and why I keep seeing her name on sheetmusicplus.com. I have also learnt why playing "Stay Awake" from Mary Poppins gives me chills. Really interesting.


Edited by alsoTom (08/30/12 07:41 AM)

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#1951392 - 08/30/12 07:54 AM Re: Chopin Prelude in E minor Op. 28 No. 4 Study thread [Re: zrtf90]
Greener Offline
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Loc: Toronto
Originally Posted By: zrtf90

What are the four musical devices mentioned in the article on Adele and which ones, if any, apply to the Chopin Prelude, and optionally, to the Bach prelude we've just looked at?


Perhaps this is to be mailed on postcard, but just a couple of quick thoughts in reading the Adele post again and trying to relate it. Not sure I'm pegging these in the right place but these are a couple of things ...

Tingle Factor
1.) guessing it is not the lyrics
2.) Appogiatura - note clash tension-release-resolved = Feel Good. Would look at bars 10-11 (clash) 12-13 release
3.) Abrupt entrance to a new voice - deviations in melody / harmony. I would look at same measures as above but sure others in the first 12 as well I haven't identified yet.

Hi Dire Tonic and Andy, hope you will be sticking around here. Just a quick testimonial ... I thought I was playing Moonlight Sonata pretty well (have been playing it for years) but now have a lot of work to do to get it back into shape. It is not just the mistakes in notes either. It is that, plus expression timing everything. Plus, just volumes of information flowing here that applies to music in general and a great new perspective.

Andy, I heard your recital rendition and think I mentioned it motivated me to want to learn it. So, here I am. Didn't have to go out and get the score after all.

I'm amazed at how we all managed before the advent of the internet.

You guys must all be nocturnal. I checked the thread just before retiring last night, when Gary and I were here. Now, a flurry of activity this morning.

Terrific, just loving this piece ...

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#1951398 - 08/30/12 08:15 AM Re: Chopin Prelude in E minor Op. 28 No. 4 Study thread [Re: zrtf90]
zrtf90 Offline
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Loc: Ireland (ex England)
asloTom, welcome! I've just finished a post on your classical music thread. smile

Jeff, we're spread all over the planet here so it's 24/7.
Hear! Hear! to the internet.

Can you make sense of the WSJ article and pick out the points? I don't think the article makes them very clear. I already know them from Sloboda's article in a BBC Music magazine.
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#1951404 - 08/30/12 08:21 AM Re: Chopin Prelude in E minor Op. 28 No. 4 Study thread [Re: alsoTom]
Greener Offline
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Registered: 05/29/12
Posts: 1073
Loc: Toronto
Originally Posted By: alsoTom
Originally Posted By: zrtf90
While listening to this: Adele have a read of this interesting article and see what you can apply of it to our Prelude 'The Tingle Factor'


I may have a go at a bar of this tomorrow, but it is beyond my skill at the moment. However I am keen to follow this discussion. I suspect I will learn quite a bit from it. For example, I have already learned who Adele is and why I keep seeing her name on sheetmusicplus.com. I have also learnt why playing "Stay Awake" from Mary Poppins gives me chills. Really interesting.


Hi alsoTom, glad to see you here, as well. Sorry I missed earlier. When this thread heats up (looks like it may be already) there are lots of cross posts ... which only adds to the fun smile

Yes, please do follow and jump in with any questions. Everyone has managed to put up with me so far, so don't think twice about shouting it out.
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#1951423 - 08/30/12 09:17 AM Re: Chopin Prelude in E minor Op. 28 No. 4 Study thread [Re: zrtf90]
zrtf90 Offline
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Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2230
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
The four points that I see in the WSJ article are:

1. Beginning softly (with a repetitive pattern) and becoming loud (climax)

2. Using melodic appoggiaturas (dissonance resolving to consonance) esp. in succession

3. Surprise in volume, timbre, and harmonic pattern including expansion of frequencies, such as jumps of an octave, or an abrupt entrance of a new instrument or harmony

4. Unexpected deviations in the melody

Going back to Bach (no pun intended) his prelude begins with a soft repetitive pattern climaxing at bar 29.

The held notes in each bar were creating tension and release from the 'melodic appoggiaturas'. When several appoggiaturas occur in succession it provokes an even stronger reaction. Bach did this in his slow descents, bars 5 - 9 and 11 - 17.

There was a surprise in RH harmonic pattern at bar 33.

The unexpected deviations occurd in LH at bb. 10 and 18 (once you knew what was expected) and I strongly suspect that the anticipation of the progression to tonic in the Bach was expected subconsciously even if you weren't aware you were expecting it. I think the drop in the bass at bb. 10 and 18 was just wonderful.

How does Chopin's Prelude compare?
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#1951443 - 08/30/12 10:08 AM Re: Chopin Prelude in E minor Op. 28 No. 4 Study thread [Re: zrtf90]
Greener Offline
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Posts: 1073
Loc: Toronto
Originally Posted By: zrtf90


How does Chopin's Prelude compare?



Several 'harmonic appogiaturas' bb 1-7, 10-11, 13-15, 19-22

This is interupted by unexpected melody deviations 7-9, 12, 16-18 (climax 17) and returning to soft appogiaturas and final resolution.

All of this (minor, major, minor, major, tension, resolve repetition) throughout the appogiaturas and interrupted only briefly with extreme melody deviations, octave jumps and forte expression brings about the intense emotional response.

How'd I do?
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#1951457 - 08/30/12 11:03 AM Re: Chopin Prelude in E minor Op. 28 No. 4 Study thread [Re: zrtf90]
zrtf90 Offline
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From another thread: "What chords are these"
Originally Posted By: dire tonic
Broadly the chords are E7b5#5#9, A7#5b9#9, D7b5#5#9, G7#5#9 so it's a 3,6,2,5 sequence - fairly common as part of a turnaround before the next soloist or repeat of the whole tune.

For someone who can have b5 and #5 or b9 and #9 in the same chord I'm sure you'll have no trouble naming anything here, dire tonic!

Welcome to the thread. I look forward to some interesting discussions on nomenclature. smile

As to the chords defying analysis, I suspect keystring was using the expression colloquially rather than with the precision of legalese. What Chopin is doing with these chords is far more important. He has lighted upon chords (that happen to have a familial ancestry) because of their utility in his purpose not because of their relationship to the tonic.

Take, for example, bar 3, the French sixth. It normally resolves to a major chord in second inversion rather than a minor one (and if it were D minor 6, what would that be doing in E minor?). If it was V7 on the dominant, the D and F would have to be sharpened. But they're not. Is it a secondary seventh on the dominant with flattened third and fifth?

It's easier to hear the effect of the chords than it is to name them. But their job isn't to be chords, it's to create a mood. And they succeed admirably.


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#1951459 - 08/30/12 11:07 AM Re: Chopin Prelude in E minor Op. 28 No. 4 Study thread [Re: zrtf90]
zrtf90 Offline
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You're doing fine, Jeff, and we'll look some more when others have joined in.

See if you can break that melody down now.
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#1951553 - 08/30/12 02:05 PM Re: Chopin Prelude in E minor Op. 28 No. 4 Study thread [Re: zrtf90]
Greener Offline
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Posts: 1073
Loc: Toronto
Quick observation re: melody ...

The suspended G# (G#dim7) in bar 8 (similarly the double strike A# sharp in bar 16) is SCREAMING for resolution ... and resolution is not far to follow.

This is one area where he's getting to my simple mind, I'm certain of it.
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#1951577 - 08/30/12 03:03 PM Re: Chopin Prelude in E minor Op. 28 No. 4 Study thread [Re: zrtf90]
zrtf90 Offline
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Quick response re: melody... smile

Based on the previous bars, Jeff, what note would you expect that G# to resolve on? What comes in it's place?

If bar 15 = bar 3 and 19 = bar 11 (we're looking at the melody only at this stage) work through, forwards and backwards, note by note to see what's happening in bb. 16-18.

Originally Posted By: Greener
This is one area where he's getting to my simple mind, I'm certain of it.
You mean, like, you're on dopamine? laugh
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#1951589 - 08/30/12 03:30 PM Re: Chopin Prelude in E minor Op. 28 No. 4 Study thread [Re: zrtf90]
JimF Offline
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One thing I've always liked in the E minor, and which seems to fit with the articles cited, is the rhythmic surprises. Whether it is the sixteenth at the end of meas.7, the appogiatura's (or grace notes, I forget what we called them) at meas. 11 and 19, the ornament in 16, or the 5 against 4 in 18, they all seem part of the "tingle factor" in this piece.

By the way, if anyone wants to remind us of the difference between grace notes and appogiaturas, and the differences and symbols for turns, vs, mordents , vs trills (in each era), this seems like a good time blush
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#1951604 - 08/30/12 04:07 PM Re: Chopin Prelude in E minor Op. 28 No. 4 Study thread [Re: Greener]
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11190
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: Greener


This is one area where he's getting to my simple mind, I'm certain of it.

A serious response to a light hearted statement. Simplicity is the key, and it is refreshing to even see the word "simple". It seems that the greater musicians tend to be "simple", and through it they create some marvelous things.

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#1951605 - 08/30/12 04:07 PM Re: Chopin Prelude in E minor Op. 28 No. 4 Study thread [Re: zrtf90]
Greener Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/12
Posts: 1073
Loc: Toronto
Originally Posted By: zrtf90

Based on the previous bars, Jeff, what note would you expect that G# to resolve on? What comes in it's place?


I would expect it to resolve on G natural, but F# sounds like the final resting place.

Originally Posted By: zrtf90

You mean, like, you're on dopamine?


That's it ... I'm getting my dopamine fix.

Originally Posted By: zrtf90
If bar 15 = bar 3 and 19 = bar 11 (we're looking at the melody only at this stage) work through, forwards and backwards, note by note to see what's happening in bb. 16-18.


working on it ...
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#1951606 - 08/30/12 04:09 PM Re: Chopin Prelude in E minor Op. 28 No. 4 Study thread [Re: zrtf90]
Gary D. Offline
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Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4649
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: zrtf90

Take, for example, bar 3, the French sixth.\

Here I have to disagree with you, Richard, for several reasons.

French 6th is a FUNCTION, not a CHORD. So if we find a 7 chord with a lowered 5th, that's just a chord, which in this case would be called F7b5, and even so the spelling is wrong for a French 6th.

French 6th would be F A B D#.

Well, obviously we don't have that. We have what appears to be an altered dominant (F7b5), but it is not functioning that way.

So we don't have a dominant, and we don't have a French anything.

All we have is succession of chords where EACH new chord moves one of three notes in the LH down 1/2 step.

It's what I call "slithering". You can label each chord, but it is useless. Because Chopin is just playing with chromatics.
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#1951609 - 08/30/12 04:23 PM Re: Chopin Prelude in E minor Op. 28 No. 4 Study thread [Re: zrtf90]
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11190
Loc: Canada
A quick thought: maybe explaining less is better than explaining more? These chords slither and slide in the sense of individual notes moving down by half steps. Once in a while there are some solid spots; in particular the seven chords. I'd rather look at general movement and the occasional "hitching post".

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#1951617 - 08/30/12 04:38 PM Re: Chopin Prelude in E minor Op. 28 No. 4 Study thread [Re: zrtf90]
zrtf90 Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/29/12
Posts: 2230
Loc: Ireland (ex England)
A couple of things, Jim, that's not 5 v 4 in bar 18. That's 2 v 2 and 3 v 2 however your favourite Chopin player does it and they're acciaccatura's with the line through them and they take no time from the main note.

An appoggiatura is played on the beat and robs some of the time from the main note following.

In the context of the WSJ journal, an appoggiatura is a suspension (theoretically unprepared) on a strong beat that resolves on a weak beat but we also use the term loosely for a dissonance in the melody such as between the C's and B's in this prelude.

The turn in this piece, bar 16, is B-A#-Gx-A#-G natural. In 'English', as they say, that's B-Bb-A-Bb-G.

There are no trills or mordents in this piece.

Originally Posted By: Gary D.
Here I have to disagree with you, Richard, for several reasons....You can label each chord, but it is useless. Because Chopin is just playing with chromatics.

No problem, Gary. I agree naming the chords is useless and believe I finished my post with that sentiment.

As to the French sixth, that looks like an Italian sixth (augmented sixth on flatted supertonic using D# as some scores have, e.g. Frederyk Chopin Instytut) in LH with the augmented 4th in RH. Doesn't that make it a French sixth?
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