Classical Music: Theme and Variations Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

They restated the chorale melody completely and had a different contrapuntal setting each time."

Two famous variations artists in the Baroque era are George Frideric Handel and Johann Sebastian Bach (Wikipedia Online).

In the Classical Era, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Joseph Haydn, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Franz Schubert, are among the famous variations artists. Following are the types of variations in the Classical Era.

Penultimate Variation

This variation works on a slow tempo with multi-movements.

Final Variation

In contrast to the penultimate variation, the final variation is fast in style.

Double Variation

This variation uses two themes and is played in varied alteration (Wikipedia).

The Romantic Era, however, was where few variations were developed. Johannes Brahms was the famous variation artist of this era. Few of his works are Theme of Haydn, Franck's Symphonic Variations for piano solo and orchestra, and Elgar's Enigma Variations (ThinkQuest).

The 20th century also boasts of the development of variations by the period's composers. Wikipedia online lists the following works of variations in this period.

The Variations for Orchestra (Arnold Schoenberg)

The Variations, Opus 27 for Piano and Variations, Opus 30 for Orchestra (Anton Webern)

Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Purcell (Paul Hindemith, Benjamin Britten)

Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini (Sergei Rachmaninoff)

Tema con Variazioni (Igor Stravinsky)


There are many types of themes and variations that were developed since the Renaissance era up to the 20th century. The popularity of this trend revolved in the different kinds of music such as the instrumental and music for orchestra. There are quite a number of well-known contributors to the art of theme and variation in music. Some of which are Ludwig van Beethoven, Wolfang Amadeus Mozart, and Johann Sebastian Bach, among many others.

Theme and Variation is perhaps among the greatest inventions in the history of music that is still visible and being used in the present times. Themes and variations is visible in the popular music that we love these days in which tunes are repeated and are slightly changed during the succeeding sets of notes.


The Baroque Era - Instrumental

ThinkQuest Online.

The Renaissance Era - Instrumental.

ThinkQuest Online.

The Romantic Era - Instrumental

ThinkQuest Online.

Theme and Variations.

Variation Music.

Wikipedia Online.

Sources Used in Document:


The Baroque Era - Instrumental

ThinkQuest Online.

The Renaissance Era - Instrumental.

ThinkQuest Online.

Cite This Term Paper:

"Classical Music Theme And Variations" (2006, October 26) Retrieved August 18, 2019, from

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