Variation 15

Variation 15 (Dunkirk)

Although Hans Zimmer is the principal composer of the Dunkirk Score, the soft ambient/melodic tracks are from composer Benjamin Wallfisch, and classical composer Sir Edward Elgar 1857-1934.

The music of Dunkirk is a reimagined piece from Sir Edward Elgar entitled, Nimrod – Adagio from his Enigma Variations: 15 variations of an original theme. Nimrod Adagio is number 10 (X).

Composer, Benjamin Wallfisch has arranged and orchestrated Elgar’s Nimrod – Adagio into a far slower and ambient track, entitled Variation 15 (Dunkirk). This song is played at the very end of the movie as the pilot (played by Tom Hardy) is gliding along the beach. It’s also known as Home on the soundtrack, and a similar iteration is played as the End Credits.

Variation 15 (Dunkirk) is a beautiful piece of music (as is the original Nimrod). To recreate the wide open space, I played a sparse and minimal passage that resembles something Gustavo Santaolalla might do.

Gear Used

I used my cheap Alvarez AC-65 for the Variation 15 (Dunkirk). I keep this guitar strung with Savarez Yellow Card strings for songs with low, alternate tunings. The strings are super high tension so the guitar still performs normally.

My camera is a Zoom Q8 with a Stereo Shotgun Microphone.

I use Acoustica by Acon Digital to edit the audio of my videos, then I run the audio track through Auphonic to properly (master) boost the levels and gain. My final video edit is with a program called Wondershare Filmora.

You can find all of my gear here.

How to play Variation 15 (Dunkirk) for guitar

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I picked up Variation 15 (Dunkirk) from around 3:18 in — where a more substantive chord progression begins. From there, I created a long passage of chords that does to the song’s end. For my arrangement, however, I repeat the passage twice.

Variation 15 (Dunkirk) is very easy to play. There are no difficult chord shapes to speak of. My fingerstyle technique is one that I picked up from playing Gustavo Santaolalla songs. There’s a good lesson on that arpeggiated technique in this post + free guitar tab.

The guitar tab for Variation 15 (Dunkirk) is only two pages long, and written beautifully. Again, this song is idea for beginner guitar players.

Enjoy, the guitar tab is available below:

Variation 15 (Dunkirk) is played two whole steps down, though you can play it in standard or any tuning you like. My tuning is as follows from low to high: C F A# D# G C — or depending on your tuner — C F Bb Eb G C.

Variation 15 (Dunkirk) for classical guitar


Written by:

Matthew's dad, Jennifer's husband, bass player - New Invisible Joy, YouTuber, short-film composer, creator of modern content for guitar.