This edition is based on Hummel's autograph score preserved as part of The British Library's extensive collection of Hummel autographs. The score, which is dated on the last page "Januar 830", lacks a title page but the manuscript is headed 'Variations et finale . Thema a.d. Fest der Handwerker" and consists of 74 pages in 15-stave hand-ruled oblong format. There is a surprising number cancellations and reworkings in the autograph along with occasional places where Hummel writes a part into the wrong staff, indications, perhaps, that the work was composed in some haste. Nonetheless, the autograph provides a reliable text for the most part although there are a number of incorrect notes, misplaced dynamic markings and missing articulations of the kind common in manuscript sources; these do not pose any great difficulties to the editor since Hummel's intentions are generally clear.
Applied articulation markings and dynamics are indicated in the score by the use of brackets and/or dotted slurs; obvious wrong notes have been corrected without comment. Any editorial emendations made without the authority of the source are also enclosed within brackets.