Theme & Variations
on the WWW
Theme and Variations
A piece based on a multi-recurring
theme - each time in a different modification (variation),
such as a change of key,
etc. In each variation, at least one of the original tunes' elements needs
to be preserved in order to keep the identification vs. the theme possible.
Many composers wrote variations
on themes by other composers, among whom are Haydn,
Variations) and Brahms
a Theme by Paganini). Bach
wrote his "Goldberg
for his harpsichord
player apprentice. Also famous are Elgar's
which is based on a theme whose origin is anonymous. The
variations are not so much a musical form, but rather a technique of treating
a musical theme.
The Chaconne and the Passacaglia
are special kinds of variations on a bass theme:
A slow Spanish dance in 3/4 with
the second beat accent like sarabande. The
theme is in the bass, played with the full harmony over and over (ostinato),
and above it grows the melody. It was introduced
into the suite in the 17th century. A famous piece in this genre is J.S.
in the D Minor Violin Suite.
The chaconne is similar to the Passacaglia.
A triple meter dance identical
to the chaconne. Its origins are in Spain.
Based on a set of variations
based on a repeating bass phrase of 4-8 measures.
A famous passacaglia is the J.S. Bach's
Examples of themes and variations
Caprice No.24 by Paganini
Passacaglia in Cm by J.S. Bach
Chaconne from Partita No.2 in Dm by J. S. Bach
Canon in D by Johann Pachelbel
By Nadav Dafni