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What Is Variation Form

Although most variations tend to address the given theme or idea, there are exceptions. In 1819, Anton Diabelli commissioned variations from Viennese composers on a waltz he had composed: in the early 1600s, the early years of the Baroque period, composers fell more and more in love with the construction of works on short melodic figures and constantly repeated to the deepest voice of the piece. Composers of this period were increasingly attracted by the deployment of rich, flowery and expressive melodic lines on such basses. Variations on a bass were the most popular and important type of variation of the Baroque period, but composers also wrote other types. In J.S. Bach`s monumental Goldberg Variations, the long theme (16 + 16 bars) is followed by 30 variations before a simple revival of the original tune occurs. The variations use a wide range of different meters and tempos. This composition is generally considered one of the true monuments of figurative-contrapuntal variation. Follow this link for a complete representation of “Reflections in water”. Sometimes the melodic variation occurs at the same time as the original.

In Beethoven`s piano sonata “Waldstein”, the second main theme of the opening movement, which is in the form of a sonata, can be heard in the left hand of the pianist, while the right hand plays a decorated version. (See also heterophony.) Mozart`s first variation adorns and elaborates the simple melodic line: Stephen Johnson deals with the technical terms of classical music, variations In the elaborate eighth variation, Mozart moves from the major mode to the parallel minor mode, combining three techniques: counterpoint, suspensions and imitation: Chopin`s Lullaby for piano, op. 57, was originally called Variants and consists of 16 continuous variations on a base bass. The original theme is audibly present in each of the 14 variations, as much as Elgar can decorate it, enlarge it here or gather it there. The effect is like a series of portraits of the same person, but in different costumes and environments that are occupied by different types of activities. The seventh variation introduces powerful new chords that replace the simple harmonies initially implied by the theme with a series of extensions of descending fifths: the music of some non-Western cultures uses variation techniques often different from those of Western music and more organic. A slightly different concept of multi-level variation can be found in the gamelan (orchestra) music of Indonesia. The variations are not consecutive, but simultaneous, with some members of the orchestra improvising their own variations at the same time on the same melody.

This technique, called heterophony, leads to a very complex static concept of variation organized vertically in sound layers. An important subset of the above consists of variations on one theme by another composer. A full performance can be heard on the following link: Listen. Mozart`s Twelve Variations on “Ah vous dirai-je, Maman” (1785), known in the English-speaking world as “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”, illustrate a number of common variation techniques. Here are the first eight bars of the theme: Jazz arrangers often develop variations on themes by other composers. For example, Gil Evans` arrangement of George Gershwin`s song “Summertime” from the 1959 opera Porgy and Bess is an example of variation through the change of orchestral timbre. At first, Evans presents a single variation that is repeated five times in subtly different instrumental combinations. These create a captivating background, a constantly evolving sound carpet, on which trumpeter Miles Davis freely improvises his own variations. Wilfrid Mellers (1964) writes that “it took an improviser of Davis` style and quality to explore, through Gil Evans` arrangement, the delicate fragility inherent in the `summer` melody.

Between them, the solo line and harmonic color create music that is both innocent and full of worry. [5] Although the first isolated example appeared in the 14th century, works in the form of theme and variation first appeared in the early sixteenth century. [11] Perhaps the earliest published example is the diferencias for vihuela by Luis de Narváez (1538). [7] A popular form of variation in Renaissance music was division, a way in which the basic rhythmic rhythm is divided into smaller and smaller values one after the other. The basic principle of starting with simple variations and moving on to more sophisticated variations has always been present in the history of the form of variation, as it provides a way to give an overall form to a set of variations, rather than simply letting it form any sequence. South Indian art music, for example, is based on the concept of a series of pieces, each of which is a variation of a specific “theme.” Together, they form a complete musical structure. The “theme” in this case is a raga. Conceptually more complex than a theme in Western music, raga consists of a certain pattern of scale, various melodic formulas and melodic relationships and fragments specific to this raga. musical variation, a basic musical technique that consists of changing music melodically, harmoniously or contrapuntically. The simplest type of variation is the set of variations. In this form of composition, two or more sections are based on the same musical material, which is treated in each section with different variation techniques. The common point of all types of variation is the static, harmonious and tonal structural element.

A melody, bass pattern, or harmonic sequence is specified and then repeated, always in the same key or mode, usually with the same length and phrase and harmonic contours. Variety and climax are achieved by contrast in the number of voices and texture, by the richness and complexity of melodic figuration, sometimes by changes in meter and tempo. In the middle of the 18th century, a major change took place in the musical structure. Composers were increasingly concerned with the harmonic and tonal orientation of the objectives. A composition must begin and end in the same tone or key. Most importantly, the other keys were arranged in a hierarchy based on the strength of their relationship with each other. A composition must go from the original or tonic key to a series of keys. The resulting sense of tonal movement gives the piece direction and thrust forward until it finally reaches the dominant tone (one-fifth above the tonic and the tone with the strongest and most compulsive relationship to the tonic), where it lingers for a while before finally returning “home” to the tonic. Melody – Composers will change the original melody in different ways.

These include adding notes (addition), removing notes (subtraction), and reversing the melody (if the melody in the theme goes up in pitch, it is played in the pitch variation downwards). Another common technique is to add ornaments such as trills. Corelli`s fellow composer and former student, Francesco Geminiani, produced a “piece version”[3] as follows: The very end of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century. In the twentieth century, some additions to the repertoire of variation were seen, but beyond the technique of free variation, no new technique or remarkable technique was developed. Free variation maintains the melodic relationship between the theme and variations by developing small patterns from the theme or transforming the theme itself through rhythmic or other changes. But the only major innovation in the technique of variation during this period developed in the works of Arnold Schoenberg and the composers who studied it or were associated with it. .