Musical Analysis and Composition of Variation Music


The purpose of research is to analyze characteristics of variation music and to find applications of variation techniques. The structures of variation music have a theme and several variations. Each variation presents an original theme with different variation techniques. Variation composing includes several techniques, such as ornamentation, transposition, inversion, retrograde, augmentation, diminution, imitation, and change of tempo. According to this study, variation techniques are applied to create a new composition of variation music. In research method of this paper, the variation techniques of Mozart’s twelve variations on “Ah, Vous dirai-je, maman,” are analyzed. Based on the analytic results of melodic variations, rhythmic variations, harmonic variations, and tonality variations. Melodic variations use decorates and inharmonic tones in the first variation; rhythmic variations change the duration to syncopated off-beats in the fifth variation; harmonic variations use the circle of fifths in the seventh variation; and tonality variations change the major mode to the parallel minor mode in the eighth variation. Through the analytic results of variation techniques, an innovative variation music piece named “Transform” is to be composed. The variation music “Transform” is electronic music, 4/4 beat, the theme has eight measures, and have four variations. In the music piece “Transform,” the melody uses ornamentation and inharmonic tone; the rhythm change duration with augmentation and diminution; the harmony change chord progressions; and the tonality change modes. From this paper, elements and techniques of variation music can be understood clearly. In future, variation music can be applied to music compositions of new styles.

Author Information
Yi-Ting Kuo, Jen-Teh Junior College of Medicine, Taiwan

Paper Information
Conference: ACAH2019
Stream: Arts - Performing Arts Practices: Theater

This paper is part of the ACAH2019 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon