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Variations 01
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Variations 01

Variations in music are, in their simplest terms, changes. This KS3 music quiz on variations requires understanding of variation form, knowledge of some musical definitions and a basic knowledge of music theory.

The dictionary definition of 'variation' is 'a different or distinct form or version of something'. In music the definition is much the same. A variation is a technique in which a piece is repeated in a slightly altered form. The differences may be in the rhythm, the melody, the timbre, the harmony, the counterpoint, the orchestration or just about anything else!

See how much knowledge you have picked up on the subject of variations by playing this quiz on the topic. Take your time and read each question thoroughly before you select which answers you think are correct. And don't forget to read the helpful comments which follow each question - they might help to clarify anything you are unsure of. Good luck!.

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1.
Which of these is a mode for a scale degree?
Phyrigian
Freezian
Ironian
All of the above
The other examples are made up. 'Ionian', not ironian!
2.
What aspects of a theme can change in variation form?
Chords
Tempo
Metre
All of the above
Just about anything can be altered
3.
Which of these terms relate to metre?
Compound duple
Compound triple
Simple duple
All of the above
Duple has two beats per bar and triple has three
4.
A basic major triad is .......
a type of loud drone heard in wedding music
a chord with a bass root, a major 3rd and perfect 5th
a type of key signature
None of the above
Triad = bass root, chord = root not necessarily in bass
5.
A retrograde inversion is most like .......
writing a theme backwards and upside down
a quiet chord played repeatedly
a type of synthesizer pitch bend effect
None of the above
It reverses the order of pitches
6.
What happens in 'variation form'?
A theme is played once, followed by a contrasting theme
A theme is repeated and remains identical each time
A theme is repeated and changed in some way each time
None of the above
It might be wise when revising to make a list of different forms and their attributes
7.
A minor triad is .......
a chord with a root and diminished 3rd and 5ths
a chord with a root, a major 3rd and perfect 5th
a chord with a root, a minor 3rd and perfect 5th
a type of sad sounding piece played by a flute
The minor triad is probably the next most common chord after the major triad
8.
When the root of a chord is not in the bass it is .......
a warning of an impending loud passage
a warning of an oncoming key change
an inversion
signalling the end of a movement
When revising, try and memorise the numeric symbols which represent 1st and 2nd inversions
9.
What best describes a musical 'ornament'
A decorative musical flourish around a particular note
A dynamic marking
A key signature marking
A time signature marking
Examples: a trill, turn etc.
10.
'Andante' is representative of .......
dynamic
key signature
tempo
All of the above
Andante music should be played at a walking pace - typically, 76–108 beats per minute
Author:  Thomas Daish

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