Analysis Of The Mazurkas

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Fryderyk Chopin composed around fifty-nine mazurkas with only forty-one being published during his lifetime; the remaining compositions remained in manuscript form until being published by his close friend, Julian Fontana, after Chopin’s death. Chopin’s mazurkas are based on the traditional Polish folk dance, the mazur, which are the second part of the three-fold dance routine of the original folk mazurka, also called the “round dance” when all three parts are performed together. The mazur’s brisk tempo provides a moderate transition between the slow kujawiak, the first part of the “round dance”, and the quickest of the three, the oberek or obertas. The mazur’s tend to have a lively and temperamental character with a tendency for irregular …show more content…
17-32) begins rather abruptly with a F11 chord. In the following measure, the first triplet is used in the piece which adds to the forward feeling of this motif. This extra energy behind the rhythmic motif and dissonance between the F11 and F7 chords creates a completely different and contrasting feeling from the A part. The B part also stays in B-flat major so the extended use of the fifth scale degree in mm. 17-19’s chords creates a need for resolve which is finally given on beat two of measure eighteen and twenty. Measure twenty-one then begins this odd chord movement of V-I modulations in descending M2. Because of the descending intervals used, parallel fifths are used in the left hand. While this was a very common thing that most composers avoided Chopin strongly uses it but in such a subtle way. It’s almost as if he has the part written so quietly because he knew exactly what he was doing and the rules he was breaking in part-writing. Even though the parallel fifths were fairly uncommon, the decision to write this progression in mm. 21-24 helps restate the kind of chord progression seen in mm.1-4, which is a v-i followed by another V-I in a different key, to provide a unified feeling throughout the piece. Throughout all of the odd chord progressions and motivic development, a sentence structure can be seen in mm.17-24 and then again in mm.

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