Tuesday, August 21, 2007

How To Compose A Theme & Variations For Piano

Recently, I posted a lesson where I show students how to compose a theme and variations for piano. Now, most composers today do not compose using this musical form. That's not to say it isn't still used but … it can sound antiquated if certain harmonies and sounds are used.

For example, in the lesson August Reflections, I use the A harmonic minor scale and 3 chords from that scale to create a theme with 3 variations.

This particular sound has been used for quite a while. I chose it because it does sound familiar and some students wanted to learn something using a minor sounding scale. Notice that the theme itself is quite simple. It consists of two 8-bar phrases that can be called A and B sections.

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