I post this as a new thread because I don’t want to pre-occupy anyone from Stephen's thread and composition of his variations on La Folia.

I have done years ago a set of variations for bouzouki on this Folia theme, but they're lost amongst my manuscripts.

The last two years I've been working on a big song cycle called "LIBYAN SEA TALE" where I thought of using modulations as instrumental interludes, and one of the themes that came first into my mind was La Folia again. I wanted something that could take me round the clock in terms of tone steps and as Handel is one of my favourite sets I started with his setting.

So my aim was to go quickly and smoothly from Dm to Em and imo this can be done as early as from the 1st or 2nd bar of Handel's setting, if you agree. Bars 17 - 18 in this pdf behave as if the 2nd triad in Dm is not diminished but Em itself. I marked the harmonic understanding with Roman numerals for both tonalities, and after bar 19 in the new tonality only. The change sounds fairly smooth to me.

What now remains is to write my own variation instead of repeating Handel's.  :-)


Perhaps what Stephen says about a competition on this theme could take ground and give all sorts of nice results.

Something like a "Composers Forum contribution to a Musical Cathedral", as the great cathedrals took centuries and many architects to be completed, so is Folia a cathedral still in progress.

How about it Gav? (After this summer preferably)

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  • Hi Mike and thanks. I am into two minds about this thread. It started off as an insight into modulations so yes, by all means feel free to publish your thoughts and insights on various aspects of the subject. It is about modality and modulation in fact. In the meanwhile, I will keep up translating my manuscript notes on ancient theory and eastern modality and we can discuss anything that takes our fancy.


  • my two previous posts deleted as irrelevant (just my confusion). I have established now all Pythagorean intervals in terms of midi bend messages and I'll carry on with my research on tuning systems for compositional purposes. I may publish some results during the summer if I find time and internet fast connection. But I am glad to observe from Bob's thread that Dorico has already been moving in that direction.

  • Hey Socrates. It's October now and I'm wondering when this thread will resume. 

    I also have a question I've been wondering about this summer that may make for  a good splinter topic:

    Are there any uniquely Greek approaches to rhythm and time signatures that are directly related to such modulation?  Your mention of thesis and arsis in another thread had brought this to mind.

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