So, I'm writing a Theme and Variations piece using the Happy Birthday melody. And I am writing it for a string quartet. I know I will have or already have these variations:
- Eighth note variation - Finished
- Sixteenth note variation - Finished
- Alla Marcia variation(3/4 melody turns into 2/4 march) - Working on right now
- Alberti Bass variation(Cello plays Alberti bass while other instruments play a block harmonization of the melody) - Towards the middle of the variations
- Cadenza variation(First violin plays a cadenza over the melody) - Towards the end of the variations
- Canon variation - Penultimate or Ultimate variation of the set
And I'm thinking of possibly including these:
- Syncopation, but in original 3/4 time signature(Kind of like Variation V of Mozart's 12 Variations on Twinkle Twinkle Little star in that the melody would probably be broken up between the instruments to keep interest up as well as make the syncopation more obvious) - Probably also towards the middle of the set
- Minor key? - This is one am less sure about. I mean, it would change the feeling completely. Happy Birthday is, as the name suggests, a happy sounding song. Turning it emotionally on its head? I mean that might be interesting, but would it fit in with the rest of the piece which is in F major?
- Chorale? - I mean, I could do it. I have written Bach Chorale-like sections within a larger piece for piano solo in a form such as Rondo. And that was with more than 4 notes, like up to 8 notes at a time. That's possible with the string quartet as well. Since Happy Birthday is at Andante, should I make the Chorale variation an Adagio at like 65 BPM and have it switch back to 80 BPM afterwards if I decide to include this variation?
The variation I am asking about is the Alla Marcia variation. How do I take a 3/4 melody like this melody:
and convert it into 2/4 in such a way that I don't end with a half bar? Or do I have to end with a half bar? This is just 1 example of me taking Happy Birthday and turning it into 2/4 on the piano.
But, how would I notate that? And are there any tips that will help me convert any melody in 3/4 into 2/4 in case I want to do a march variation on a different 3/4 melody?