Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Geiringer, Karl. "The Structure of Beethoven's Diabelli-Variations." The Musical Quarterly 50 (October 1964): 496-503.

The structure of Beethoven's Diabelli Variations, Op. 120, as a whole might be considered a macrocosm of the structure of the waltz theme by Anton Diabelli. Many previous composers have ended their variation sets with a return to the opening theme; the thirty-third and final variation, a minuet, can be thought of as Beethoven's transformation of this theme to a higher sphere, acting as a crowning epilogue or coda. This leaves thirty-two variations, corresponding to the thirty-two measures of the theme. The waltz theme is symmetrically organized into eight four-measure groups. Likewise, the thirty-two variations can be described as a set of eight groups of four successive variations, related by sequences of tempi, meter, texture, and character.

Works: Beethoven: Diabelli Variations, Op. 120 (496-503).

Sources: Anton Diabelli: Waltz (498-503).

Index Classifications: 1800s

Contributed by: Mark Chilla

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