Most students of composition are familiar with the uses of variation on a micro level, that is, at the level of the phrase. This course will concern itself with variation techniques at the macro level: variation as a structural principal. As models, we'll turn not only to music in the standard repertory, but to 20th-Century works such as George Rochberg's Caprice Variations, Charles Ives's Variations on America, and Aaron Copland's Piano Variations. Students will write all music for the same 3 to 5 member ensemble, to be determined at the beginning of the quarter, with the goal of having a completed set of variations for chamber ensemble at the end of the quarter. In addition to the big final project (the variation set), there will be smaller exercises/analysis assignments/reading assignments scattered throughout the quarter.