Back to Home Forum Index

Meter of Prelude No. 10

Discussion of Chopin's life and works, only.
Post a reply

Meter of Prelude No. 10

Postby johnlink on Mon Nov 20, 2006 1:44 am

My edition of Prelude No. 10 has a time signature of 3/4, but it seems to me that 2/4 is clearly the meter. What do you think? I'm curious why Chopin would write 3/4 for a composition so obviously in 2/4.

John Link
johnlink
Registered Musician
 
Posts: 55
Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2006 5:37 am
Location: New York, NY
Top

Postby PJF on Mon Nov 20, 2006 9:18 am

Incidentally, I once had the tendency to try to play it in duple time, but it's most certainly in 3/4.
Per Sapientiam Felicitas!

Pete
User avatar
PJF
Moderato(r)
Moderato(r)
 
Posts: 398
Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2006 6:18 am
Location: South Louisiana, USA
Top

Re: Meter of Prelude No. 10

Postby MindenBlues on Mon Nov 20, 2006 12:15 pm

johnlink wrote:My edition of Prelude No. 10 has a time signature of 3/4, but it seems to me that 2/4 is clearly the meter. What do you think? I'm curious why Chopin would write 3/4 for a composition so obviously in 2/4.
John Link


For me it is not at all obviously 2/4 meter.
Maybe the arpeggios in bar 1 and2 and similar could be grouped in 2/4 instead 3/4, but already in bar 3 and 4 one would run in trouble if thinking in 2/4 metrum. Those phrases show the 3/4 metrum pretty clearly. Therefore no, it is to fully right written in 3/4 in my opinion.
MindenBlues
Registered Musician
 
Posts: 77
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2005 12:51 pm
Location: Germany
Top

Re: Meter of Prelude No. 10

Postby johnlink on Mon Nov 20, 2006 1:41 pm

MindenBlues wrote:Maybe the arpeggios in bar 1 and2 and similar could be grouped in 2/4 instead 3/4, but already in bar 3 and 4 one would run in trouble if thinking in 2/4 metrum. Those phrases show the 3/4 metrum pretty clearly.

I agree that bars 3 and 4 are plausible in 3/4, but I think they are also plausible in 2/4. Continuing through the prelude, bars 5 and 6 are similar to bars 1 and 2 (as are bars 9 and 10 and then 13 and 14), and bars 7 and 8 are similar to bars 3 and 4 (as are bars 11 and 12, and then 15 through 18). So even if bars 3 and 4, 7 and 8, 11 and 12, and 15 through 18 are considered to be in 3/4, we would have an alternation between 2/4 and 3/4.
johnlink
Registered Musician
 
Posts: 55
Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2006 5:37 am
Location: New York, NY
Top

Postby johnlink on Mon Nov 20, 2006 1:47 pm

PJF wrote:Incidentally, I once had the tendency to try to play it in duple time, but it's most certainly in 3/4.

Why do you think that? Perhaps your tendency to play in duple time meant that you were feeling the truth of the music.
johnlink
Registered Musician
 
Posts: 55
Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2006 5:37 am
Location: New York, NY
Top

Re: Meter of Prelude No. 10

Postby MindenBlues on Mon Nov 20, 2006 6:25 pm

johnlink wrote:
MindenBlues wrote:Maybe the arpeggios in bar 1 and2 and similar could be grouped in 2/4 instead 3/4, but already in bar 3 and 4 one would run in trouble if thinking in 2/4 metrum. Those phrases show the 3/4 metrum pretty clearly.

I agree that bars 3 and 4 are plausible in 3/4, but I think they are also plausible in 2/4. Continuing through the prelude, bars 5 and 6 are similar to bars 1 and 2 (as are bars 9 and 10 and then 13 and 14), and bars 7 and 8 are similar to bars 3 and 4 (as are bars 11 and 12, and then 15 through 18). So even if bars 3 and 4, 7 and 8, 11 and 12, and 15 through 18 are considered to be in 3/4, we would have an alternation between 2/4 and 3/4.


John, probably one could endless debate about that. I know that you are about to transcribe all preludes to vocal/guitar (if not already done), what is really great. It will open new points of view on those preludes. Also, what I have listened so far from you regarding prelude 4 and 6 I value very high.
However, if you take a 2/4 instead an 3/4 groove, possibly combined with a slowing down, this makes the thing rather tenacious (on PIANO, but maybe other thing on vocal!!!).
Also the debate about the tempi on the preludes - all signs speak that Chopin itself played pretty lively. There is no recording from Chopin itself.
However, at least the progress is so far that the old piano rolls for mechanical piano machines, are about to be restored. They are scanned and translated to a midi file, what can be transferred to a good sounding mp3 file. I just listened to some of them back to 1925 from Godowsky in http://www.PianoSociety.com. He is known to play in the old romantique fashion. He plays VERY fast. Just listen to some takes!
MindenBlues
Registered Musician
 
Posts: 77
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2005 12:51 pm
Location: Germany
Top

Postby PJF on Tue Nov 21, 2006 1:37 am

johnlink wrote:
PJF wrote:Incidentally, I once had the tendency to try to play it in duple time, but it's most certainly in 3/4.

Why do you think that? Perhaps your tendency to play in duple time meant that you were feeling the truth of the music.


Chopin wrote it that way because that's exactly what he meant to write. Twelve years ago when I played it in duple time, whatever I felt, I was wrong. It is in 3/4 and should be played that way. The piece is peculiar, however.
Per Sapientiam Felicitas!

Pete
User avatar
PJF
Moderato(r)
Moderato(r)
 
Posts: 398
Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2006 6:18 am
Location: South Louisiana, USA
Top

Postby johnlink on Tue Nov 21, 2006 1:55 am

PJF wrote:Chopin wrote it that way because that's exactly what he meant to write. Twelve years ago when I played it in duple time, whatever I felt, I was wrong. It is in 3/4 and should be played that way. The piece is peculiar, however.

Why do you think you were wrong when you played it in duple time? How do you know that it is in 3/4? What is there in the music (not the sheet music, but the music itself) that leads you to your conclusions?
johnlink
Registered Musician
 
Posts: 55
Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2006 5:37 am
Location: New York, NY
Top

Re: Meter of Prelude No. 10

Postby johnlink on Tue Nov 21, 2006 2:04 am

MindenBlues wrote:I know that you are about to transcribe all preludes to vocal/guitar (if not already done), what is really great. It will open new points of view on those preludes. Also, what I have listened so far from you regarding prelude 4 and 6 I value very high.

Thank you. I have completed my arrangements for voices, guitar, and bass of all 24 preludes except for No. 5 which needs a lot of work and No. 17 which needs a few chords for guitar.
However, if you take a 2/4 instead an 3/4 groove, possibly combined with a slowing down, this makes the thing rather tenacious (on PIANO, but maybe other thing on vocal!!!).

I've put the long descending melody (three triplets followed by two sixteenths) on the guitar and have given the SATB voices all the chords, including in bars 3 and 4, 7 and 8, etc. I'm planning on a tempo of about 76 quarter notes per minute.
Also the debate about the tempi on the preludes - all signs speak that Chopin itself played pretty lively. There is no recording from Chopin itself.
However, at least the progress is so far that the old piano rolls for mechanical piano machines, are about to be restored. They are scanned and translated to a midi file, what can be transferred to a good sounding mp3 file. I just listened to some of them back to 1925 from Godowsky in http://www.PianoSociety.com. He is known to play in the old romantique fashion. He plays VERY fast. Just listen to some takes!

Will do. Thank you for the link.
johnlink
Registered Musician
 
Posts: 55
Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2006 5:37 am
Location: New York, NY
Top

Postby PJF on Tue Nov 21, 2006 6:27 am

johnlink wrote:
PJF wrote:Chopin wrote it that way because that's exactly what he meant to write. Twelve years ago when I played it in duple time, whatever I felt, I was wrong. It is in 3/4 and should be played that way. The piece is peculiar, however.

Why do you think you were wrong when you played it in duple time? How do you know that it is in 3/4? What is there in the music (not the sheet music, but the music itself) that leads you to your conclusions?



I'll let what Chopin wrote speak for itself.
Per Sapientiam Felicitas!

Pete
User avatar
PJF
Moderato(r)
Moderato(r)
 
Posts: 398
Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2006 6:18 am
Location: South Louisiana, USA
Top

Re: Meter of Prelude No. 10

Postby MindenBlues on Tue Nov 21, 2006 8:38 am

johnlink wrote:I've put the long descending melody (three triplets followed by two sixteenths) on the guitar and have given the SATB voices all the chords, including in bars 3 and 4, 7 and 8, etc. I'm planning on a tempo of about 76 quarter notes per minute.


That was my assumption, that you plan a drastical slow motion version - since you have also no other choice, with voices the upper speed is limited, especially with a multi voice arrangement.
So in this piece with your intended tempo one certainly feels more the quarter note groove instead the groove for a complete bar of 3 quarter notes like in the original piano version.
To me, I could imagine that a slow motion version will sound interesting, and thinking in quarter notes as beat. However, to think in 2/4 metrum instead 3/4 would throw the melody out of context in half of the piece, and gives the other half at least a different character to that what was intended by the stated time signature.
MindenBlues
Registered Musician
 
Posts: 77
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2005 12:51 pm
Location: Germany
Top

Re: Meter of Prelude No. 10

Postby johnlink on Tue Nov 21, 2006 2:32 pm

MindenBlues wrote:That was my assumption, that you plan a drastical slow motion version - since you have also no other choice, with voices the upper speed is limited, especially with a multi voice arrangement.

Remember that my arrangement has the guitar playing the fast descending melody, with the singers performing the chords underneath the fast melody and in answer to it. It won't be drastically slow. But of course 65 miles per hour would seem drastically slow to someone who is accustomed to travelling at 90 miles per hour, but try to tell that to the highway patrol.

So in this piece with your intended tempo one certainly feels more the quarter note groove instead the groove for a complete bar of 3 quarter notes like in the original piano version.
To me, I could imagine that a slow motion version will sound interesting, and thinking in quarter notes as beat.

Although my tempo is slower than that of all the speed demons, I would not characterize it as slow motion, although it it slower than the lickety-split tempo that is typically taken. Your contrast of a "quarter note groove" with a "groove for a complete bar of 3 quarter notes" suggests that the typical practice is to play it in one, with the beat note being a dotted half. My understanding is that in 3/4 the quarter note is the beat note.

However, to think in 2/4 metrum instead 3/4 would throw the melody out of context in half of the piece, and gives the other half at least a different character to that what was intended by the stated time signature.

I might change my mind about bars 3 and 4, 7 and 8, etc., and think them in 3/4 instead of 2/4.
johnlink
Registered Musician
 
Posts: 55
Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2006 5:37 am
Location: New York, NY
Top

Postby PJF on Wed Nov 22, 2006 3:21 am

error
Last edited by PJF on Wed Nov 22, 2006 3:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
Per Sapientiam Felicitas!

Pete
User avatar
PJF
Moderato(r)
Moderato(r)
 
Posts: 398
Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2006 6:18 am
Location: South Louisiana, USA
Top

Postby PJF on Wed Nov 22, 2006 3:22 am

I'm curious John, why do you want to alter a perfectly good meter?
Per Sapientiam Felicitas!

Pete
User avatar
PJF
Moderato(r)
Moderato(r)
 
Posts: 398
Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2006 6:18 am
Location: South Louisiana, USA
Top

Postby johnlink on Wed Nov 22, 2006 3:28 am

PJF wrote:I'm curious John, why do you want to alter a perfectly good meter?

Your question suggests that I failed to make myself clear. But if you re-read my first post in this thread you'll see that my opinion is that the meter of Prelude No. 10 is not 3/4 as indicated in the score, but rather 2/4. I may be correct or I may be mistaken in my opinion about the meter, but for me the issue has nothing to do with my intention and everything to do with the nature of the prelude itself (to repeat, the prelude itself, not the sheet music).
johnlink
Registered Musician
 
Posts: 55
Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2006 5:37 am
Location: New York, NY
Top

Next

Post a reply

Return to Frédéric F. Chopin

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest