Theme and Variations

The word 'variation' in music refers to the process of repeating musical material in an altered form. The alteration can involve either melodic, rhythmic, harmonic, or timbric aspects. In a broader sense, the use of variations as a way of generating musical discourse has resulted in a number of forms or genres. The passacaglia and chaconne, for example, are variation forms. The most popular variation form is, however, the 'theme and variations'. A fundamental musical idea is stated (with or without an introduction) and then recurs a number of times, altered in its melodic shape, instrumentation, meter, rhythm, accompaniment, or some other aspect. Usually the variations will have the same structure and length as the original theme (which may be considered a legacy from the application of the variation technique to court dances). The first theme/variations works emerged in the 16th century, under the form of divisions (in which a melody was stated in long notes, and then subsequently divided in a progressive fashion, thus demanding some level of dexterity of the player). The basic idea of stating the variations in a progressive fashion has been a constant through the history of the Variation forms, arguably because it creates a sense of form and musical direction.

Composers

Addison P. Wyman Adolf Eckardt Adolfo Fumagalli Alba Rosa Viëtor Aleksandr Chesnokov Aleksandr Winkler Alessandro Rolla Alexander Dreyschock Alexander Scriabin Alexandre Joseph Artôt Amy Marcy Beach Anatoly Lyadov Antoine Bohrer Antoine-Nicolas-Marie Fontaine Anton Arensky Anton Bruckner Anton Deprosse Anton Diabelli Anton Eberl Anton Fahrbach Anton Reicha Anton Webern Antonín Dvořák Antonio de Cabezón Archippe Yepmou Arnold Schoenberg Arvo Pärt August Bungert August Freyer August Wilhelmj Bartolomeo Campagnoli Bernard van Dieren Bernhard Dessau Bernhard Molique C. A. Adler C. W. Durkee Camille Chevillard Carel Anton Fodor Carl Baermann Carl Czerny Carl Heinrich Carsten Reinecke Carl Maria von Weber Carl Nielsen Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach Carl Tausig Carlo Angelelli Carlo Curti Cecil Forsyth Cécile Chaminade César Franck Charles Dancla Charles Balmer Charles Ferlus Charles Joseph Frost Charles Villiers Stanford Charles Voss Charles Wels Charles-Auguste de Bériot Charles-Marie Widor Charles-Valentin Alkan Christian Traugott Brunner Christoph Ernst Friedrich Weyse Claude-Bénigne Balbastre Daniel Gregory Mason Daniel Léo Simpson Donald Tovey Dudley Buck Édouard Broustet Edvard Grieg Edward Elgar Edward Fisher Emanuel Moór Emile-Robert Blanchet Engebert Brepsant Enríquez de Valderrábano Ernst Rudorff Eugène Walckiers Eugenio Cavallini Eyvind Alnæs Fartein Valen Felix Blumenfeld Felix Mendelssohn Ferdinand Beyer Ferdinand David Ferdinand Ries Ferdinando Carulli Fernando Sor Ferruccio Busoni Fidelis Zitterbart Jr. Francesco Calegari Francis Purcell Warren Francisco Corrêa de Araujo Franciszek Brzeziński Franz Anton Hoffmeister Franz Berwald Franz Clement
Franz Joseph Haydn Franz Liszt Franz Schubert Franz Thaddäus Blatt Franz Wüllner Frederic Abel Frédéric Chopin Friedrich Burgmüller Friedrich Dotzauer Friedrich Kuhlau Friedrich Wilhelm Heinrich Benda Fritz Kreisler Gabriel Fauré Gabriel Pierné Gaston Salvayre Georg Joseph Vogler Georg Wichtl George Enescu George Frederick Bristow George Gershwin George Henschel George Schleiffarth Georges Bizet Georges Hüe Giacomo Gotifredo Ferrari Giacomo Zucchi Gino Tagliapietra Gioachino Antonio Rossini Giovanni Bottesini Giulio Briccialdi Giuseppe Tartini Gordon Young Gustav Adolf Merkel Gustavo Carulli H. Augarde H. Augustus Pond Hans von Bülow Hartenack Otto Conrad Zinck Heinrich Josef Wassermann Heinrich von Herzogenberg Heinrich Wilhelm Ernst Henri Bertini Henri Marteau Henri Vieuxtemps Henri Wieniawski Henry Stephen Cutler Hugo Wolf Hyacinthe Eléonore Klosé Ignaz Brüll Ignaz Moscheles Isaac Van Vleck Flagler István Bartalus J. Stuart Archer Jacques Bosch James Bellak Jan Nepomucen Bobrowicz Jan Václav Voříšek Jāzeps Vītols Jean Aimé Vernier Jean Baptiste Casimir Fabre Jean Baptiste de Fier Jean-Baptiste Cardon Jean-Baptiste Cartier Jehan Alain Joachim Andersen Johan Amberg Johann Baptist Cramer Johann Baptist Vanhal Johann Christian Bach Johann Gottfried Arnold Johann Heinrich Carl Bornhardt Johann Ludwig Böhner Johann Nepomuk Hummel Johann Nikolaus Forkel Johann Pachelbel Johann Sebastian Bach Johann Wenzel Kalliwoda Johannes Brahms John Balsir Chatterton John Blitheman John Erhardt Weipert John Field John Oscar Casey José Avelino Canongia Josef Gabriel Rheinberger Josef Wanczura Joseph Bonnet Joseph Mayseder Joseph Woelfl Josephine Aurnhammer Juan Alais Juan Crisóstomo de Arriaga Jules Demersseman Julius Weismann Karl Adolf Lorenz Karol Szymanowski
Konstantin Villebois L Coninx Léon Boëllmann Leonhard von Call Leoš Janáček Louis Moreau Gottschalk Louis Sauter Louis Spohr Ludwig van Beethoven Ludwig Wilhelm Tepper von Ferguson Luys de Narváez Manuel Alejandre Prada Marc Delmas Mark Alburger Martin Pierre Dalvimare Mary Ann Dibdin Matteo Carcassi Mauro Giuliani Max Reger Mel Bonis Michel Rondeau Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka Mikhail Vysotsky Moritz Moszkowski Mosè Isidori Borsani Napoleón Coste Niccolò Paganini Nicholas Charles Bochsa Nicolai von Wilm Nicolas Baldenecker Nicolas Chamié Nicolaus Vetter Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov Nikolay Amani Olivia Dussek Onorato Costa Oreste Ravanello Orlando Gibbons Otakar Sevčík Ottorino Respighi Pablo de Sarasate Paul Bernard Paul Dukas Paul Vidal Pierre Baillot Pierre Rode Pietro Pettoletti Pompilio Casotti Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky Ralph Vaughan Williams Renaud de Vilbac Reynaldo Hahn Richard Kram Robert G. Patterson Robert Schumann Robert Volkmann Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Samuel Sebastian Wesley Samuel Wesley Saverio Mercadante Semyon Barmotin Sergei Rachmaninoff Sergei Taneyev Sophia Dussek Sophia Maria Westenholz Stanislas Verroust Stephen Foster Stephen Heller Théo Ysaÿe Theobald Boehm Theodor Döhler Thomas Täglichsbeck Thomas Aptommas Thomas Babou Thomas Paul Chipp Thomas Philando Ryder Tranquille Berbiguier Uzziah Christopher Burnap Various Vincent d' Indy Vincent Lubeck Vladislav Aloiz Walter Braunfels Wilhelm Berger Wilhelm Neuland Wilhelm Popp William Babell William Byrd William Cranford William Faulkes William Vincent Wallace Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Wolfgang Ebner Władysław Zeleński Xaver Scharwenka Yuri Bilstin