In the 19th century, the French nocturne (night piece) was a Romantic character piece with an expressive melody superimposed upon a broken-chord accompaniment. The first such nocturnes were written by John Field (1782-1837), an Irishman, from whom Chopin adopted the idea and the name. The majority of these pieces are in ternary form, expressing two contrasting moods; i.e. lyrical vs. dramatic or rhythmic.
This concert work was written for free bass accordion. The ternary form and homophonic texture of the nocturne are employed to illustrate the expressive melodic qualities and dynamic capabilities of the accordion. In the second section, punctuating rhythmic figures juxtaposed upon unorthodox groupings of the basic beat, are in direct contrast to the lyrical simplicity of the opening thematic idea.