Khan Variations

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Khan Variations is a musical composition for 5 octave marimba written by Alejandro Viñao in 2001. The piece is structured as an uninterrupted set of 8 rhythmic variations lasting 10 minutes and is considered one of the most challenging works in the marimba repertoire, both from the technical and musical point of view.[citation needed] Nancy Zeltsman ‘recommended marimba solo literature’ lists Khan Variations in the ‘extremely difficult’ category.[citation needed]

The piece has featured in the repertoire of many international marimba competitions such as the International Marimba competition in Salzburg, the Taiwan Marimba Competition, the Percussive Arts Society marimba competition and the Linz International Marimba Competition which in 2006 was won by the young international soloist Ji Hye Jung playing Khan Variations in the final round.[citation needed] Khan Variations has been released on various CDs recorded by a number of artists.


  • title of CD: Marimba Works, label: VINAO.COM
  • title of CD:Percussive Counterpoint, label: CAG records
  • title of CD:Figures in a Landscape, label: DAD Records released in 2013
  • title of CD:Circularity, label: AMG, album ID W 261302 [1]
  • title of CD:Boomslang, label: Blue Griffin Records (BGR 189) released in 2012
  • title of CD:Works in Wood, label: Laurel Records (LR 866) released in 2013


'My favorite, however, was Alejandro Viñao’s Khan Variations, a twisting series of melismatic variations based on a Qawwali theme previously recorded by Pakistani vocalist Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, given a seductively husky and rich resonance on'. Fanfare (magazine), the magazine for serious record collectors, April 18, 2010


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