Dize 1

Andrew Dize
Dr. Ludwick
MATH 105
Making a Melody Using Variations

On Monday, May 11 2015, my group presented a song in class that demonstrated
different variations on a melody. These variations included an inversion as well as a few
transpositions. The group process went smoothly, and the presentation in class met my
expectations. There are several different ways to change a melody using different variations, and
finding the right ones to use in our presentation was most of the work.
A variation is taking a certain sequence of numbers (or notes) and moving them up and
down a scale, with the numbers keeping their sequence. In the project, each note represents a
number ranging from 1 to 12. Each number represents a note in an octave, and since our melody
was C, D, A#, G, the numbers it translated to were: 1, 3, 11, and 8. The first thing we did with
our sequence was applying a retrograde, which is just reversing the melody and playing it
backwards. The retrograde is simply: G, A#, D, C. After adding the retrograde, the group had to
find and listen to all kinds of transpositions until we found one that sounded great. A
transposition is adding or subtracting numbers from the melody, which results in a similar tune
due to the same sequence of numbers but is actually completely different from the original
melody. After trying many different transpositions, the group decided the best sounding one for
our song was a transposition of 7 semitones up. After applying our transposition, the melody
became comprised of the following notes: G, A, F, D. At this point, our song was really

we tried several different possibilities and unanimously decided on one. E. and 12=0 in mod-12 addition. Next. the project was a massive success. the group decided to get creative and see what kind of cool melody we could make by doing an inversion and then transposing on it. and variations are definitely one of the coolest ways that the two subjects connect. For example. and B. C#. the song sounded extremely cool. . An inversion is replacing each number with its opposite under mod-12 addition. After working out the math for the inversion centered at C. we reached the melody F#. and the group did not want to risk adding in another variation that would mess up the awesome sequence of melodies that had been created by solely using variations that originated from a single melody. this new melody sounds harmonic when compared to the rest of our variations. and F. Once again. but it really messed the song up and created dissonance. In conclusion. The group tried to do an inversion centered at D. B. the opposite of 3 would be 9 because 3+9=12. After doing an inversion on our original melody and then transposing 6 semitones up. We decided that we needed to insert an inversion centered at C because our song was in the key of C. and how the different variations do not all sound the same even though they all started from the same place. the new melody was C. G#. Interestingly. Upon completion of this variation. Math and music are connected in so many different ways.Dize 2 beginning to sound catchy. regardless of the little bit of trouble that the group had encountered while trying to prepare to present the song to the class. It is fascinating how a full sequence of melodies can be created from four initial notes. but we felt it was missing a few more variations.