Experiments on techniques to automatically recognise whether or not an extract of music is a variation of a given theme are reported, using a test corpus derived from ten of Mozart's sets of variations for piano. Methods which examine the notes of the 'surface' are compared with methods which make use of an automatically derived quasi-Schenkerian reduction of the theme and the extract in question. The maximum average F-measure achieved was 0.87. Unexpectedly, this was for a method of matching based on the surface alone, and in general the results for matches based on the surface were marginally better than those based on reduction, though the small number of possible test queries means that this result cannot be regarded as conclusive. Other inferences on which factors seem to be important in recognising variations are discussed. Possibilities for improved recognition of matching using reduction are outlined.