Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants


8 Variations, One Crazy, On Ah! Vous Dirai-je, maman




College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Date Range



This composition ideally explores the unexpressed potential of one of Mozart's previously unchallenged masterworks. In an environment where the current compositional status quo is mainly based on the twelve-tone mathematical abstraction to which the keyboard has become a subject, this work aims at proposing a renovated direction for the piano repertoire in the Twenty-first Century. The setting for the work is the unassuming key of C major. The entire keyboard range is fully embraced; the use of ledger lines is deliberate; and pitch class, a key feature of the atonal construction, is set in a purely tonal environment. The thematic material is slowly demolished throughout the composition, to end with no apparent connection with the popular tune. A parallel structural layer initially sets the range and the mood in the first variations, only to abruptly transform the theme in a boogie-woogie riff. From that point on, the rules of tonality are increasingly broken. The dorsal spine of this work is constituted by the use of note repetition. This work is conceived for the piano. A repeated pattern characterizes each section and hands can find their position naturally. Hence, the avid pianist will discover that each variation is a unique mini-etude based on different technical and musical principles.

Conference Name

College Music Society International Conference

Conference Location

Seoul, South Korea

This document is currently not available here.