Chopin Nocturne

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade September 2001

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Frederic Chopin was born on March 1, 1810. He is considered one of the greatest piano composers. Chopin created a wide variety of music including warlike music, etudes, waltzes, and romantic pieces, many of which were solos for the piano. He, like many Romantic era composers, was a boy of wonder, who published his first composition at the age of fifteen. He began his music career as a pianist, but he abandoned his concert life early. His musical influences were the sounds of Polish national songs and dances.

He changed everyone's idea of what was possible on the piano with intimate, brilliant, singing and diverse sounds. Chopin's melodies sound vocal more than instrumental. Chopin's nocturnes are full of character and distinction and they usually contain passages that interrupt the melody line. The Nocturne is technically a piece with the melody carried by the right hand, the harmony and tempo carried by the left, and written to suggest a feeling similar to the evening or twilight.

The piece I played is called Nocturne Op72 No1. It is written in the key of E minor, and is in 4/4 time (which is common meter). It is 57 measures long with an andante tempo (which means moderately slow and comparable to walking speed). The dominant notation is eighth notes. The prominent feature is its melodic structure, and the somewhat melancholy mood. Towards the middle of the piece are some difficult "fiorturas"�. These runs are written as part of the melody, not as anything extra. Chopin's use of trills is also part of the melody. It's truly amazing to realize Chopin was only 17 when he came up with this amazing musical idea. The drama here is almost operatic; and not many operas can compare. But every piece by this composer always seems to be gorgeous.