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Variations on a Theme by Robert Schumann

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Robert Jager

Robert Jager

General Info

Year: 1969
Duration: c. 10:00
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Alfred Publishing Co.
Cost: Score and Parts - $100.00   |   Score Only - $15.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
Eb Clarinet
Bb Clarinet I-II-III
Eb Alto Clarinet
Bb Bass Clarinet
Contrabass Clarinet
Alto Saxophone I-II
Tenor Saxophone
Baritone Saxophone
Cornet (in Bb) I-II-III
Trumpet I-II
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II
Bass Trombone
Baritone (Bass Clef & Treble Clef)
String Bass
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bells
  • Chimes
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Gong
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tambourine
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone
  • Xylophone


Percussion. 9 meas. after reh. A (Variation II): add 2/4 meter signature

Program Notes

The Variations on a Theme of Robert Schumann was written on commission for the North Hills High School Band in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and was premiered by this excellent ensemble and their fine director, Warren Mercer, at the 1969 Eastern Region Music Educators National Conference in meeting in Washington, D.C.

The theme is “The Happy Farmer,” and the variations evolve one from the other throughout the work using rhythmic, melodic and intervallic relationships for the basis of their variance. The basic structure is as follows:

Theme, The Happy Farmer (also known as the “Red Wing Polka.”)
Variation I, Theme is juxtaposed throughout “solo” voices in a Haydn-esque fashion
Variation II, Flutes outline theme in scherzo-like style
Variation III, Free variation on rhythmic values
Variation IV, Melodic and intervallic variation
Variation V, Distortion of melodic line in rhapsodic variation
Variation VI, Rhythmic variation of theme

- Program note by the composer

Commercial Discography

None discovered thus far.

Audio Links

Sample download; ensemble and conductor unknown

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • University of British Columbia (Vancouver) Wind Ensemble (Robert Taylor, conductor) – 13 February 2020
  • California Polytechnic State University Pomona Symphonic Winds (Ricky Badua, conductor) – 9 October 2019
  • Sacramento (Calif.) Symphonic Winds (Tim Smith conductor) – 5 May 2019
  • University of California, Santa Barbara, Wind Ensemble (Paul Bambach, conductor) – 29 November 2018
  • Dr. Lawrence R. Sutherland Wind Festival Orchestra (Fresno, Calif.) (David Becker, conductor) -18 March 2018 (2018 Sutherland Wind Festival (Fresno, Calif.)
  • James Madison University (Harrisonburg, Va.) Symphonic Band (Stephen Bolstad, conductor) – 1 March 2018
  • Whitman College (Walla Walla, Wash.) Wind Ensemble (Gary Gemberling, conductor) – 21 April 2017
  • Santa Barbara City College Concert Band (Eric C. Heidner, conductor) - 2 December 2012

Works for Winds by this Composer


  • Jager, R.; Schumann, R. (1969). Variations on a theme of Robert Schumann : (The happy farmer) [score]. Belwin : New York.
  • Miles, Richard B., and Larry Blocher. 2002. Teaching Music Through Performance in Band. Volume 4. Chicago: GIA Publications. pp. 725-732.