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Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Chopin: Mazurka Op. 67 No. 2

Ternary form, here we come. This mazurka begins in g minor, but a quick IAC after only 4 measures in B-flat Major complicates matters. The next section last for a full six measures, really pounding home a plagal cadence as we return to g-minor and then cadence, not once, not twice, but 3 times. We repeat this first section again, with the IAC in B-flat, then a return to g-minor, which ends on a solid PAC. I would consider this A section a parallel phrase group, although it is asymmetrical. Even though we have weak cadences to begin it (two IACs in relative major, and the plagal second cadence) , it does feel complete due to the strong pull of the g-minor PAC that ends it. This entire section serves as expositional material, as we introduce the main theme and only repeat it. Since we begin and end in the same key, and on a PAC to end, this is a simple ternary form. The B section draws us suddenly into B-flat major, continuing the triple meter feel of repeating something 2 twice before reaching a conclusion on the third attempt. This section is a complete phrase, with a half cadence after the first 6 measures, then a parallel section that ends on a PAC. This whole phrase is repeated again, making this B section feel very complete on it's own (thus making this piece ternary rather than binary). This section is developmental, as we take a key we hinted at before (B-flat) and explore it more fully for 24 measures. Between the end of the B section and the return of the A we have a wandering transitional-atory section that doesn't necessarily fit into either section, but serves as a small melody that brings us back to our original g-minor key. Now to end we have a full recapitulation of our A section. Since we have a full B section as well as the full recapitulation of the A section, this piece is definately ternary.

I love how Chopin uses the mazurka as a vehicle for such original music. The variety offered by the dance-like form pushes Chopin to creative heights. Love it!!!!


Mr. Luxury Yacht said...

Good job. Chopin does a good job of keeping the listener confused about major versus minor keys.

katie said...

I usually find that with Chopin it is hard to keep track of major vs minor... and also a lot of times I find it hard to feel a pull towards tonic because of the rubato and improvisatory feeling that exists in most of his music. Sometimes I just kind of feel like I am wandering around. Nice analysis though. :-)

MeatPopsicle said...

I agree dude. The B section definately has an ambiguous key. Very descriptive analysis. Good job!