Teaching Theme & Variations

Theme and Variations on Ode To Joy

 

Objectives

  1. Student will understand the basic principles of Theme and Variations basic form and compositional techniques.

  2. Students will be able to demonstrate basic competencies in creating melodies in Sibelius.

  3. Students will be able to demonstrate basic competencies in altering track effects in Garage Band.  

 

Procedures

 

Teach and discuss Theme and Variation and its attributes:

  1. “Theme and variation” is a popular musical form in which a composer states a melody and then repeats it several times with changes to create more interest and variety. Some famous examples of this form are Charles Ives’ “Variations on America” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hs0VjhNWqn8) and Mozart’s “Twelve Variations on Vous dirai-je, Maman” K. 265/300e (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fS7yiD6cz8A), a French folk song that most people now know as “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.”

  2. Go to this website with the students http://goo.gl/55wjST (Extended: http://www.erikscull.com/portfolio/assets/flash/variationswcopland.html)

  3. Optional if needed for more variations supplement:  The following .pdf gives us an overview on the theme and variations that Mozart uses on his “Twelve Variations on Vous dirai-je, Maman”. The hand out is also helpful for students to see a notational representation of themes and variations: http://www.cengage.com/resource_uploads/downloads/049518974X_78467.pdf

  4. Listen to Mozart’s “Twelve Variations on Vous dirai-je, Maman” K. 265/300e (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fS7yiD6cz8A) and have the students identify what Mozart does to change each variation.  Remind them of the 6 basic variation forms:

The following are the basic forms of variations that are used:

  1. Melodic Variation

  2. Rhythmic Variation

  3. Tonal (Key) Variation

  4. Harmonic Variation

  5. Style Variation

  6. Instrumental Variation

  1. The students will now create their own variations based upon Beethoven’s Ode to Joy.  Give them the student handout and they may begin working.  The original Sibelius file with the theme is found here: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0BwdPs0zTGWusVmd6VmNUdENXS0E/edit?usp=sharing or here: http://goo.gl/vW080G

Assessments

  • Students will discuss and identify the differences in Mozart’s “Twelve Variations on Vous dirai-je, Maman” K. 265/300e

  • Students will demonstrate their differences they have created from the main theme of Ode to Joy

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