What type of piece is it?
A character piece.
Where does the name ‘Ballade’ come from?
Ballete- dance (Italian) ‘ballet style’.
Ballad- Medieval story.
What is the overall form of the piece?
A, B, A, B, C, Codetta (taken from A).
What keys does the piece start and end in?
Starts in F major and ends in A minor.
What does ‘Sotto Voce’ mean?
‘Under the voice’.
How does the piece start?
Does it start in the tonic or dominant key?
Dominant until bar 3 then it moves to the tonic.
When is the first main rhythm introduced?
Bar 1.1-1.4 in the RH.
When is the second main rhythm introduced?
Bar 3.1-3.2 in the RH.
What is the chord pattern of bars 3-5?
Bar 3: I, IV.
Bar 4: Ib, iiib, VI7, ii7b.
Bar 5: V7, I.
What is special about the second chord of bar 5?
It’s a chord I with a third on the top, making it unstable.
What happens in section A in the bass line a lot and what effect does this have?
Lots of monotonous notes (eg dominant and tonic pedals) creating tension as uses dissonance- a key feature of Chopin’s writing.
How many notes per hand are there in Section A?
Usually, 2 creating 4 note chords.
What’s unusual about the phrasing?
Chopin uses regular phrasing ending on perfect cadences.
Describe bars 9-16.
They are identical to bars 1-8.
Describe the key changes in Section A.
Bar 18.3- Am (V-I).
Bar 20.4- C (V-I).
Bar 24.4- C (V7-I).
Bar 29.1- F (V7-I).
What’s unusual about the chords in bar 32.2-31.1?
The chords are V7- iiib. This makes it sound imperfect which is unusual.
When does it modulate to Am and stay in Am in Section A?
Bar 36.4- Am (V7-I).
What are the unusual chords used in bar 38?
iii9b-I in Am which sounds like a perfect cadence (alternative to a perfect cadence). This happens at the end of every bar until bar 44.
Describe the last 6 bars of Section A.
Bar 40-41- Rhythmic diminution (a key feature of Romantic music).
Bar 42- Falling major 3rds.
Bar 45- F major chord underneath a fermata with repeated A’s in the right hand creating tension and linking to section B.
What are the main differences between Section A and B?
More extreme register
Note value change
What key is Section B in?
Am which is the relative minor of the dominant (chord iii). This is a romantic feature to not modulate to conventional keys.
What’s the left hand doing every other bar in Section B?
Plays in octaves which is a romantic feature.
Describe the first 12 bars of Section B (RH)?
Disjunct rapid arpeggios followed by ascending broken chord figures.
When at what key does it modulate from Am in Section B?
Gm in bar 54. Edim in bar 60. Dm in bar 62. Fm in bar 64. Abm in bar 66.
What Romantic feature used in the left-hand in bar 70?
Low range ostinato.
When do we return to Section A and what key are we in?
Bar 82 in the key of F.
What happens in bars 82-87?
Exactly the same as bars 2-7.
What keys does it modulate in the first return to section A?
Bars 90-91: Am
Bars 92-92: F
Bars 93-94: Hint of Gm
When is the chromatic passage in the return to section A?
Bars 98-107 and there is no established key.
What happens in bars 107-110?
Rising atonal sequential pattern linking to section A.
What are bars 110-114 like?
Bars 9-14 but massively harmonised.
What are bars 132 like?
Imitation of bars 107-113 just a semitone lower.
When does section B return and what is it like compared to the original section B?
Returns in bar 140 and is very similar, replicating it in Dm.
When does the link passage to C happen?
Describe section C.
Restless and jumpy, leaping all over the place.
What happens in bars 178-179?
New syncopated ideas which are repeated in bars 182-183.
What happens in bars 183-190?
It builds in intensity to the finale (crescendos into a rising sequence using the most of the piano).
When does the codetta start?
Describe the codetta.
The brief return of section A with a monotonous tonic pedal (A) and is in Am. Final cadence in Am (V-I).