Prelude in A Major, Op. 28, No. 7 - Frederic Chopin

Prelude in A Major, Op. 28, No. 7 is one of Frederic Chopin's most popular masterpieces. Written primarily in A major, this solo piano piece is considered one of the best preludes in the entire collection of his work.

History and Release of Prelude in A Major

Chopin composed the majority of his works during periods in his life when he was in Paris, France. This well known piece was composed in the mid-1800s, and was published in 1839. While much of his intimate details were destroyed in a fire, it was recorded that he had written many of his preludes in isolation and in complete silence, claiming that “silence is sometimes more musical than sound.”

The piece is a staple in piano curriculum and is recognized by amateurs and masters alike. From a simple hum of the introduction, the piece builds to a passionate peak. Prelude in A Major has been transcribed for violin, cello, and other instruments.

Analysis of Prelude in A Major

The piece is largely improvised, as much of Chopin's work is. There is a mix of parallel major chords, syncopations, and ornamentation. In terms of music theory, this piece is a great example of the use of non-chord tones, with suspensions and passing tones throughout.

The structure of the piece is in a Tarantella rhythm — both a holdover from his homeland of Poland and a great example of chromaticism. A tarantella is a span that begins on a tonic and returns to it after a brief excursion. The opening bars consist of a left hand arpeggiation that moves in parallel motion of descending thirds. This alternates between two tonic notes and one dominant note two times before returning to the tonic, thus creating this structure.

Why the Piece is So Popular

The piece is well known for its beauty and emotion. Chopin was a master in his craft, able to bring out emotion through the sound of keys. His style is often attributed to a combination of his French background, mixed with his Polish roots.

It has become something of an international classic, a go-to piece for pianists when it comes to showcasing their technical ability as well as flair for music. Much of his highly emotional music features dynamic chord changes and a deeply rooted passion that resonates with all kinds of people.

It's no wonder why so many pianists and listeners alike have enjoyed Prelude in A Major for so many years. The piece is a testament to the genius of Chopin and the emotive power of music.

Publication date: 18. 02. 2023