Theme and variations- a study

(AKA "How to woo girls thru playing nice, sweet little tunes with little or viturally no practicing)

Allegro q=140
Theme: Let's randomly pick 4 notes of the C major scale, all white keys (for the time being)

Richard Si


Embellished with 3rd, placed above: this outlines the harmonic structure (implying triads, without the 5th)





IV of C

iii of C

ii of C

I of C

Embellished with 3rd, placed octave above: creates a broader sense of sonic space (so it doesn't sound too "flat". Also now you would need to use both hands to play this tune with relative ease. Isn't that neat?)


Double right hand note's frequency (more action) while maintaining the intergral shape of the melody, which is as you have seen above, an same embellishment of the left hand (Tehnically both hands still playing pretty much the same thing)


"Fine tuning" the melody by STEP 1: altering one or more notes to make passages more lively (even more action)*

"Fine tuning" the melody by STEP 2: linking the notes that has smaller intervallic distance (such as a third) with a passing note, and in effect further double the note's frequency (now four times the original value)** 21


As you continue to study harmony you would soon know/read from books or hear from theorists that the chord progression of the left hand (IV-iii-ii-I) is not exactly the best sequence of chords. However upon closer inspection they are not really that bad: In fact 25 they are actually notes that belong to the main functional chords of conventional harmony: Tonic (I), Subdominant (IV) and Dominant (V)



G6 5


Why this is not E minor? Did you notice the note C of the right hand? now in this bar the three notes are C, E, and G, which is C Major, 1st Inversion

Why this is not D minor? Did you notice the note G of the right hand? now in this bar the three notes are G, D, and F, which is G7th (without B), 1st Inversion

*/**Yes, of course I knew in advance which note was in need to modify to make this passage sensible, and I confess, the changes before was definitely not acts of inconsequential randomness. So I have cheated, in a way...are you ready for a third voice? (so there can be more depth to the overall sound) No? fine. Then we need to make more micro-adjustments to the melody, to make it more attractive 29 in shape and in rhythm...

I choose to modify the left hand because, well, I thought the whole notes are just a bit too boring...a purely artistic decision (and also reinforces the idea of Dominant-Tonic cadence, too) Well, you like it or not, here the inner voice comes: Again, similar to your eventual ripening of harmonic knowledge and vocabulary, by simple listening to very many selections of music you would discover that in most music have three levels of actions occuring simultaneously:Foreground, Midground and Background. They can represent various aspects of the music, but within this conext we would name the foreground as MELODY and background as HARMONY. And indeed we are lacking the Midground, where the reason 33 for it's existence is really to provide a supporting role toward both melody and harmony.

Similar to the micro-adjustments I have done with the Right hand's top voice, now I would alter a few notes of the inner voice to 37 further accentuate it function (and role) to the whole section.

As the inner voice is added you would now hear a much more complete harmonic structure then before: The sevenths that was filled throughout the tune adds a layer of tension, with relase soon after. These are the nuts and bolts that determines the "dynamic" of the music: how the tune progresses from one point to another.