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Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Chopin: Mazurka in A minor, Op. (posth.) 67, No. 4

This Mazurka composed by Chopin, begins in the key of A major. It is comprised of 3 major sections and an ending that repeats the first two. This form can be represented as A B C (AB). Composed in 3/4 time, the written "oom-pah" looking base would suggest a waltz like feel. However in his typical "improvisitory-sounding" fashion, Chopin avoids the dance feel, instead playing with the tempo like taffy. With a simple bass line that uses no note lengths except quarter notes, the piano Mazurka allows the right hand to play with the melody. For the majority of the song, the composer dictates that the pedal should be used for practically every measure. Dynamic color changes, constant tempo adjustments, and alterations in rhythm and articulation fill this piece.
In the A section of this song there are two contrasting periods of eight measures in length, both ending on an IAC. The playful right hand leads into the second section and a key change to the dominant.
The B section of this piece begins in the key of E major, consisting of two parallel periods. The first period ends on a minor half cadence, the second on an authentic cadence which immediately modulates back to tonic.
Section C brings the final presentation of new music. Varied rhythms and a devoloped melody mark two eight measure parallel periods, the first ending on a HC, the seconding concluding the section with a PAC leading into the ending.
The end of the piece is very simple. Chopin concludes the Mazurka after the third section by simply restating both A and B without repeats. Although this piece is rather short, it is still very beautiful but has much repeated material, forcing the performer to use much creativity to prevent repitition and boredom to set in.

4 comments:

mvittorio said...

I like that you include many compositional styles of Chopin along with your analysis of form. This made it very interesting and helpful for future playing.

Martin Buber said...

Hey that a minor to e major is interesting--e is the iv of a, but then it's major. It would work on the circle of fifths if it were in minor, but probably since there is that progression, Chopin can get away with the major.

Anonymous said...

e is the V of a

Anonymous said...

This is all wrong...
The piece is in A minor, not A major.