ns first example check below illustprices Chopin"ns exciting mixture of Timeless and forward-thinking harmonic approaches is Prelude No. 4 in E minor, shown listed below in figure 1, a harmonic reduction and analysis:


Thins Brief prelude is just one of the Most well known functions native Chopin"s entire catalogue. In addition to being played in ~ hins funeral, No. 4 has actually been featured in numerous Hollylumber movie and also was ns motivation for Antonio Carlos Jobim"ns bossa nova composition, "exactly how Insensitive", and because that "departure Music (because that a film)", by the criticallied acasserted art-rock band also Radiohead. Despite Chopin title hins preludens just through numbers, many have actually obtained typically accepted nicknames from musicologists and also critics. No. 4 has been dubbed the "suffocatitop top prelude", perhaps due to its somber top quality and also ns constant lengthy follow me of descfinishing voice top via altering harmony.

You are watching: Chopin prelude in e minor analysis

ns first 12 steps the No. 4 are underpinned by a very Usual chord progression however dressed up with several amazing divergences. Figure 2 isolatens the abovementioned harmonic framework that begins the piece:


In measure 2, we find an example the 2 different means one might analysis the very same chord. Ins would be Most Usual come call ns E the sounds During the first 2 beats that ns bar an appoggiatura refixing downward come ns D# ~ above beat three. Alternatively, this chord sound together one incomplete ii mino one saturday chord via the included 9th and 11th degrees, creating a ii-V cadence. Thins duatogether harmonic feature can be uncovered throughthe end the preludes.

Chopin provides chromatic downward voice cream causing relocate indigenous V in meacertain 2 to V/iv in measure 4. InsteAD that moving voices in ~ ns exact same time, Chopen starts via the lower voice, followed through ns upper voice, and also ultimately the Middle voice. This strategy create a heightened sense that chromaticism and also some interesting chords in the process. Ns initially chord of meacertain 3 can be analyzed together a French augmented 6th chord relocating to V/iv and ns anticipation tones and also passong tonens are labeled in figure 1. In measure 4, Chopin offers a similar technique of voice cream leading to resolve At some point come iv-again, anticipation tones are labeling above. Procedures 5-8 function descfinishing chromatic movement in ns teno one voice (G-F#-F) and base voice (E-D#-D) which aobtain geneprices part exciting harmony, consisting of ns D7 (bVII7) in measure 7 and vii diminiburned 7th the iv. Another appoggiatura shows up in ns top voice in measure 9 which is, not coincidentally, the chord 9th. This addition exoften tends the harmony in ~ a key point in the form. Aldespite tright here ins no regular pattern to ns way ns voices move in measures 1-8, voices Many commonly descend through fifty percent step; every various other voicens descfinish through entirety step.

an excellent example that Chopin"ns use of extended/changed dominant harmony is ns R.H. PassPeriod in meacertain 12 (postposition A), where that plainly highlamp D natural end a B7 chord. Thins implies the ns harmony is actually B7(#9), and ins sounds accordingly. Thins chord is incredibly Typical in Jazz but ins rarely viewed in Romantic music.

actions 13-16 are exceptionally comparable come measures 1-4 but Chopin offers harmonic diminution through omittinns ns chord native beat 3 that measure, insteADVERTISEMENT advancing come ns chord indigenous beat 1 of meacertain 4 a half-measure early. Meacertain 17 functions another altered leading chord, this tins B7(b9), which resolves ago come i. Later, in procedures 20-21, Chopen follows a decepti have cadence on Vi (C) by including ns key Bb, ns chord"s lower 7th degree, implying a German augmented sixth chord and also propelling us towards ii. Meacertain 22 attributes i (2nd inversion) through a suspfinished 4th refixing to a major 3rd. Thins creates a temporary significant ns chord before ns 3rd degree descend by fifty percent action come go back to ns minor. In ~ this point, ns final cadence starts via a clear Germale augmented sixth chord, then V with a 4-3 suspensitop top reresolving come V-i. In hins Prelude No. 4, it appears together despite Chopin"s emphasis is on smooth, regularly chromatic, descending voice top native harmonic guideshort article come harmonic guidepost. This process gave in 25 actions of music that are at once logical and unpredictable.

top top first listen, or first glance in ~ a score, Chopin"ns Prelude No. 8 in F# mino one standns in distinct comparison through No. 4. Well-known together "Desperation", this prelude functions a greatly figured optimal voice cream in ns R.H., consistinns the consistent 3second notes. Ins is straight in ~ this ornamentary top voice the we discover the slower-paced melody, consistinns that a repetitive dotted-quarter/sixteenth Keep in mind rhythm. Comparinns the first 2 steps the ns smain point (postposition B) via figure 3 (below), a harmonic reduction, is quite revealing:


as soon as again, Chopin offers an extremely basic harmonic progression together the foundation top top i beg your pardon he stackns detailed chromaticism. One analysis the the top voice shows the it supports the harmony and also melody shown over however incorporates several appoggiaturas that might be analyzed together eitshe passong tonens or Expansions the the harmony. The G# and B the happen During beatns 1 and 2 could be heard as ns nine and also 11th that the tonic F# minor chord. Ns ins half-diminished chord that adheres to ins extfinished by ns illustration that A# (9th) and also C# (11th), and over ns V7 chord top top beat 4 Chopin addns ns flatted 9th (D). Every one of this ins proof that Chopen wished come extend the harmonic vocabulary that ns day when continuing to be faithful come certain elements that ns Usual exercise period, together as balance and ns regular use of useful harmonic progressions.

steps 3 and 4 appear come be a development of beatns 3 and also 4 native procedures 1 and also 2. Ns ii half-diminimelted chord, in second inversion, and also ns root place V7 chord to be recurring in ns keys that C# minor (v) and B mino one (iv). Thins progression, D# half-diminimelted 7th-G#7-C# half-diminished 7th-F#7 ins complied with through F7--G# diminished 7th-F diminimelted 7th, prior to lastly reresolving to the tonic, F# minor. Ns ideal explacountry the thins harmonic sequence appears come be that, after the ii-V succession landns us in B minor, F#7 (V in B minor) becomes the Gerguy augmented sixth chord in ns crucial that Bb. The F7 that follows can it is in seen as the Germale augmented sixth chord in ns key the A, Due to the fact that the next chord, G# diminiburned 7th, would leADVERTISEMENT us to a brand-new tonic the a significant (i m sorry would be IIi in ns Initial key). Instead, Chopen move the diminimelted chord dvery own a invariation and offers ins as E# diminished 7th come modulate earlier to the residence vital the F# minor.

See more: Beans Dont Burn On The Grill, Why Fish Don'T Fry In The Kitchen

ns first 2 steps are reproclaimed with sirradiate sports in procedures 5 and 6, but in figure 4, a reduction of actions 7 and 8, one more chromatic succession appears. This 2 procedures to be related to measures 3 and also 4, yet this tins Chopin employns a chain that Germale augmented sixth chords to modulate:


ns Germale augmented sixth chord in the key of Bb significant (Gb7) resolvens come a Bb major triAD in 2nd invariation in meacertain 9, perfect ns modulation. Actions 9-14 consisns the a collection of diminiburned 7th and leading 7th chords over an F pedal (V in Bb major). ~ above beat 3 of bar 12 Chopen provides a common-chord modulation, iv in the crucial the Bb (Eb minor) becomes iii in Cb major. Germale augmented 6th chords, regularly descfinishing chromatically, pput an essential role throughout Prelude No. 8.

expanded Harmonic Vocabulary in ns Preludens of freder ChopinChopin Prelude in E Mino one Op. 28 No. 4Chopen Prelude in E major Op. 28 No. 9Chopen Prelude in Db major Op. 28 No. 15