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At the beginnings and endings of sentences, these non-chord tones appear as neighbors or passing tones on the 2nd beat, leaving a stable chord-tone on the 1st beat; but in the middle of each sentence, Chopin wisely turns all non-chord tones into 1st beat appoggiaturas to increase tension. The true chord is thus only heard at the very end of the bar, a process typical of Chopin and romantic harmony in general, which we will see again many times during the cycle of Preludes.
Here a reduction which allows a clearer view of the harmony with doublings and rhythmic complexities removed — the red brackets below the harmony highlight the structural harmonic units SHUs that segment the harmonic flow:. The first sentence spans a common 8 bars, divided equally in a presentation and continuation. The second sentence preserves the 4-bars presentation expected to signal the formal structure to the listener , but greatly expands the continuation to 13 bars before arriving at the full cadence, and then further adds a 9 bars cadential prolongation serving as a coda, leading to a total sentence length of 26 bars.
The expansion of the second continuation is where the harmony is the most interesting. Combined with the tempo acceleration; the rhythmic complexification of changing the sextuplets to quintuplets in bars ; and the increased surface dissonance through the usage of increasingly chromatic appogiaturas, this contributes greatly to the sense of movement created in the middle. When you observe the relationship of the outer parts in this section, you can further notice that from bar 12 to bar 21, they move exclusively in parallel 6ths.
Chained parallel 6th chords are often of an ornamental nature, due to the lack of stability that a root can provide.
Still, if we move to a background outline of the piece and push the whole parallel 6ths section to the ornamental domain, the structural connection between the two continuations becomes clear. Both do a II — V movement, but where the soprano in the first one is descending a third from D to B, the second one simply inverts the motion upwards, filling the gap with a scale, before adding a short cadential formula:. A tonic pedal at the end balances the instability created in the middle, with echoes of the cadential V — I movement on top.
Prelude 1: Sorry
Bars further seem to suggest a IV — I plagal movement in the right hand, but as the left hand was playing a contradicting G simultaneously, I opted to treat them as appoggiaturas in the analysis, although the harmonic effect is still there. Notice also how the A-G melodic movement in those last bars completes the G-A movement of bars 25 and 27, which is left incomplete by the jump of all parts up and down — a broken melodic movement which creates some tension before the ending and implies a 2-part melodic structure, as shown in the harmonic reduction example.
For information on the theoretical approach and the conventions used on the blog, check out the Methodology page. If you share the analysis and images provided here in any context — such as a classroom -, please provide due credit. Chopin — Prelude Op.
Prelude and Fugue in C major, BWV - Wikipedia
So… the analysis adventure continues soon with the second Prelude. In , the copyist Schwencke added after M 22 a measure based on the bass note G, which was adopted by many editions. This supplementary measure is not authentic. Today while playing the Prelude from a collection of pieces I discovered the jarring and horrible sounding measure. It is discordant, but not in a good way and does not fit at all, in my very unprofessional opinion.
Omitting it seems to me like the censorship of the crux of the chord progression, like erasing a term in a mathematical equation, like a gap in the breaking of a musical wave. One could say that it is so obviously a part of things, that Maestro Bach could leave it out, knowing that a like mind would know what to do. For me his oevre is like the collected stories of a traveller who journeys in foreign climes and comes back to tell us about what he has seen there. Gounod obviously thought so as well, for he included it in his Ave Maria setting. But all this begs an interesting, and perhaps unanswerable question: Did Bach leave this measure out intentionally, or inadvertently?
Obviously, we may never know. To me, the Schwencke measure really does not belong in the original Prelude in C, but I can see how it made sense in the context of Ave Maria. Starting at measure 20, where the music really takes a turn, the progressions come in even numbers again up to the climax and beyond. Though, I suppose one could argue that another odd-numbered progression is needed for balance… The entire musical sequence from bar 20 and onward is not very obvious and open to interpretation, it seems.
With respect to the other opinions expressed, the climax of Ave Maria to me is measure 30 29 in Prelude when the vocals are at their highest. The type of resolution in that bar is also quite unique compared to the other progressions. No matter what the interpretation is, Prelude in C is fantastic. Using every note of the octave in this opening piece is a neat way to begin a much larger collection that is written in every key.
So each time after measure 22 we had a problem. I just learned the piece a few days ago and memorized it since I had heard it many times but never took the time to play it. Actually found some played with the extra measure but the majority without it. While it sounds fine going into measure 23, it sounds quite weird after measure This fact lends some credence to, if not the authenticity, then at least the appropriateness of the included measure.
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Harmonically it is a minor major seventh. I include it when I play the prelude.
I bet that Bach would not have minded it. I do agree with Phil Edwards — and i could add a question to this type of debate: Why is the scene of classical music so dominated by musical fundamentalists? You are only killing it with all these false claims to authenticity. Music is not for museums, it has to live in the present moment — that is what makes it classical in the true sense. In my opinion serious musicians must always make their own interpretation of classical work — also if that means changing elements like bars, harmony, rhythm etc. By clicking "Post comment", you agree that your data will be stored by G.
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You are welcome to use pseudonyms. Your email address will not be published. Your email:. Skip to content. If the extra measure were actually to be included in the prelude — and that is to be discussed — it would have to be between measures 22 and Browsing the Internet a bit, we can confirm that indeed this fateful insertion is still causing confusion.
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Our Urtext edition of the prelude clearly presents the facts: The footnote asterisk between mm. For this reason no one need be seriously on the lookout for the lost measure! Bookmark the permalink.
April 15, at pm. Tobias Ray says:. November 2, at am. Peter Barber says:. April 24, at am. Thomas I. Ellis says:.