This learning object is a step-by-step analysis of Frédéric Chopin's Prelude No. 8 in F# Minor. This site includes a score, recording and text analyzing the composition in two bar segments completing the analysis with a complete performance of the work.
Type of Material:
A lecture/presentation of a musical analysis.
This learning object could be used in a second year college harmony course as an example of tonal chromatic harmony in the Western 19th century music. This site could also be used in a graduate theory or harmony review course.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
The goals of this learning object is to understand the harmonic structure of Chopin's Prelude No. 8 in F# Minor and to understand his use of descending chromatic 7th chords. The analysis begins to reduce the harmonic complexity of this Chopin Prelude to underscore it's simplest harmonic structure.
Target Student Population:
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
An understanding of second year college chromatic harmony is needed to understand this analysis.
The content of this learning object is accurate. The strength of this site is in it's step-by-step analysis and accompanying recording. Students may study and listen to the piece two bars at a time to fully understand the overall harmonic structure of the work.
The site could be improved by offering a more complete explanation of how analyzing the chromatically descending dominant 7th chords need to be understood as German augmented 6th chords in order to understand the harmonic logic of the progressions Chopin uses. The site also uses capital letters in it's Roman numeral notation for all chords regardless of whether they are augmented, major, minor or diminished chords.
While there can be more refinement in the harmonic description and attention to larger scale harmonic motion, the site does a good job at reducing the complexity into simple terms.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The step-by-step analysis allows this site to be used by teachers and students as a model in analyzing other works especially those that use chromatic harmony
Students will need additional explanation of the use of augmented 6th chords from a teacher to fully understand this analysis. Students should also be made aware that the Roman numeral chord progression notation has been simplified in this analysis.
There is little concern for voice-leading and many terms must be understood a priori. While there are written comments that suggest chord substitutions, there is little discussion about the purpose of those substitutions and their impact on the overall harmonic progression.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
This site is easy to use.
Other Issues and Comments:
This is a great introduction to the complex world of chromatic harmony and the site does a great job at reducing the elements of this piece into simple harmonic terms. It is a good model for a beginning music theorist but cannot be taken as a complete analysis.
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