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Theme Variation Examples

Discussion in 'Tips, Tricks & Talk' started by Rohann van Rensburg, Feb 16, 2021.

  1. Hello gentlemen (and women? Are there any here yet?),

    Does anyone have examples of solid theme variations that the theme in full in each example? This may sound like an absurdly rhetorical question but I've been tasked to write two versions of a theme (as an orchestral mockup, likely going to keep it small and manageable), specifically a foreboding and then a mournful one (where the character makes the wrong choice), and I'm wondering what the best way to go about it is. The obvious answer is varying the harmony, but given the strange nature of "foreboding" sounding harmony, I imagine modifying the theme somewhat would also be helpful. There are obviously a million and one variations available to peruse but I was wondering if anyone had anything in mind specifically, especially since it's leaning more towards "two versions of a theme" and less "theme development". I can think of many examples of themes that are taken through various stages of development that eventually lead to a final, fully developed theme, or themes that are broken apart and intruded upon or combined with other themes, but less so two versions of a single theme.
  2. Isn't this what Mattia Chiappa is doing with his series on youtube?

    Maybe you will find exactly both flavours you need in it, he has made a lot of them.
    He is mostly keeping the Theme, but changing it here and there to make it fit better.
    Rohann van Rensburg likes this.
  3. #4 Mattia Chiappa, Feb 18, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2021
    I started this exercise on this forum and I kept adding to it for over a year now. The videos may be a bit long to watch but you can listen to all the examples below if you want to

  4. You know, I've heard this piece so many times it didn't even come to mind, I'll have to go through it again.

    That's fantastic! I didn't know he was doing this. Much better chops than me so I'm sure this will be helpful.

    Thank you, that's fantastic. I don't know how I missed it but I somehow did. Will definitely dive in.
  5. Your video and Soundcloud are real goldmines, thanks for sharing.

    So I suppose really the most obvious approach to my initial post is to stick to a main theme and reharmonize it for the given part? Each will be longer than just a few phrases, so I imagine some variation in the B sections or the like would be a good idea? Or given that the first piece remains more "unfulfilled" and tense, presenting other sections only in the final piece?
  6. I discovered Mattia's channel a couple of months ago and I am really enjoying it. His work is top notch and very informative. Everyone should follow him.
  7. I think harmony is key. I would definitely try having some fun with it and see how far you can bring it just by reharmonising without changing any of the notes in the melody.
    Rohann van Rensburg likes this.
  8. I think this is probably the most logical starting point, working from a non-resolved, tense harmony to something more final and resolved in the second piece and if anything further developing the melody in the second piece to symbolize an inevitable path.

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