Roger Stimson’s children’s book , ‘Quest for the Golden Orchid’ , is now on sale as a straightforward book and an audio book : Quest for the Golden Orchid It will also be represented at the London Book Fair on January 20th.
The Quest for the Golden Orchid is the book that Roger based his 15 Insect Songs on and these will soon be published by Spartan Press.
The story features a bee called Hermia – and a variety of other insect characters- and their adventures in escaping dangers caused by pesticides.
About the songs
The music is fun and imaginative in illustrating the different characteristics of the various insects. The number of solo voices or choruses vary per song and there is a violin and piano accompaniment.
” These songs are ideal for use in schools, ” said Roger. ” Each song works on its own with or without the book – or all the songs and the book can be combined to create a children’s musical.”
Find out more
If you’d like to be kept in touch with up to date information about publication of the book and the songs please email Roger direct at email@example.com
The latest cello and piano sheet music we have for sale in our online shop is an arrangement of Lilliburlero . The cello part is around Grade 5 in standard – so considerably easier than our original violin and cello duet version.
But it still retains the liveliness and vitality of the original and works very effectively as a cello and piano duo.
Lilliburlero became a popular folk tune in 1688 and some of the words have a political meaning. It was also used in The Beggars’ Opera which was written by John Gay in 1728. But there is absolutely no political meaning to our arrangement – it is simply a fun, happy tune!
Is it important to start string lessons with a good teacher? Yes, for many reasons. It will help you enjoy playing and will make the process seem relaxed and fun. It will also help you avoid getting into bad technical habits that can make playing much more difficult than it needs to be. And it should allow you to achieve what you, as an individual, would like to achieve on your instrument.
Making it easy and mixing with others
If you are an absolute beginner it’s sensible to start by having weekly lessons if possible so that you become comfortable with the easiest and most natural way of playing. If you’re an adult you’ll probably be motivated enough to cope with lessons on a more ad hoc basis after the first month, depending on how much time you have. And I recommend finding other people to play chamber music with, or joining an amateur orchestra, as soon as you can. There are lots of enthusiastic amateur string players and playing with them is usually fun and supportive.
Basic scales and improvising
I am also a strong believer in encouraging improvisation from the start. This may be as basic as just playing open strings in your own rhythms. But it definitely enhances confidence and creativity and helps you feel at one with your instrument. Once you have learnt basic scales – which does not take long – playing simple tunes by ear is also an excellent idea and gives you a sense of freedom.
Roger and I are both experienced teachers. If you’d like more information please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 07964 232654
Highland Meeting was composed last month and is inspired by folk music. There’s ongoing dialogue between cello and piano throughout and the title is deliberately evocative.
Music with narrative
I love playing short pieces with imaginative titles. If you play the piano you may have come across Bergmuller’s Easy and Progressive Piano Studies . Each short study is a little jewel, with a title that brings the music to life. Listen to the fun performance of La Chasse below and you’ll see what I mean:
Moving back to cello and piano, please feel free to email us at email@example.com if you’d like more details about any of the music that we sell.
Building a repertoire of violin and cello duets for weddings
If you are forming a professional violin and cello duo which will play at weddings you may be struggling to find repertoire. Violin and cello duets are an unusual combination.
So… welcome to Fedora Strings! Our website specialises in violin and cello duet sheet music which is imaginative and effective. Our two wedding collection albums are likely to contain almost all the music you’ll need to start with. And the pdf format they are sold in can be printed not just once, but as many times as you want. This makes them excellent value for money.
Not just for weddings!
While Wagner’s Bridal Chorus might be considered an unusual choice to play in a recital, most of our other music is not just for weddings but can be played anywhere! Almost all our arrangements and compositions are true chamber music. They have very equal parts and share the tunes between the instruments. And at the moment we are offering five arrangements ( or compositions) for the price of four!
What is summer music? Most people would probably think it’s music that’s calm, rural and relaxing. Delius’s Summer Evening ( below) is exactly that:
But for Vivaldi summer evoked different feelings. His ‘Summer’ in The Four Seasons is an early example of programmatic music. Vivaldi wrote his own sonnets in the score to explain what the music is describing. The first movement’s sonnet reads: ” Langour in the heat” . This is followed by: ” …beneath the blazing sun’s relentless heat men and flocks are sweltering and the cuckoo’s voice can be heard.”
For Gershwin the season was even more complex. His aria Summertime opens his opera Porgy andBess which is set in a black tenement in South Carolina in the 1930s. The themes of the opera are romance struggling against poverty, drug taking and violence. Our violin and cello duet version is below:
…and you can buy our violin and cello duet sheet music arrangement here
This autumn we will be adding some cello and piano sheet music to our online shop. Some of the sheet music is a piano and cello reworking of already existing pieces. These are Scarborough Fair, Christmas Variations and Morning Prelude. There will also be three new cello and piano sheet music compositions.
For more information email us at firstname.lastname@example.org And remember, you can commission us to arrange or compose a piece for you for any combination of strings.
This blog explores how tv themes work. Have you noticed how the best tv themes immediately take you into the world of the programme with no words needed? Ever wondered how they do that? Here’s a very rough outline:
First – Hawaii 5 0. The lively mood, off beat rhythms, energy, contemporary pop style, use of drums and minor key instantly evoke action, seriousness and America.
Compare this with Inspector Morse – a very different, definitely non American, detective:
This tune expresses darkness and sadness – ideally suited to the older, cultured and world weary Inspector Morse! The minor key, repeated rhythms and repeated descending bass line – in chaconne style – create a sense of inevitability. Vitali’s Chaconne ( below) with its famous repeated descending bass line, is in the same world (but was written 300 years earlier.)
Changing the mood completely, the Pride and Prejudice theme projects lightness and happiness with its major key, scale patterns and lively speed. The composer effectively captured the late classical /early romantic style of Jane Austen’s era .
Compare this with the Haydn Piano Concerto and John Field Nocturne below. Both composers were contemporaries of Jane Austen.
What are your film music favourites? In this blog I am going to share some of my favourite film themes. I’m also going to explain how some film themes have influenced our sheet music arrangements.
Film Music Favourites
This is the first fab film theme that springs into my mind, and I love its energy and excitement. If fact, I like this theme so much that I included a quote from the main tune in our arrangement of Long Ago and Far Away ( even though this song is entirely different in mood)
Next, who could fail to be impressed by use of Bach’s Air on a G String in the Hamlet Cigar adverts ? This particular arrangementy is more jazzy than our own, but certainly gets some of the sense of calm across!
The film extract below is by far my favourite version of La Cumparsita – and some of the accordion playing influenced our arrangement.
The theme from Dances with Wolves – with its sense of openness achieved by using the first and fifth degrees of the scale – had some influence on Morning Prelude
While Gabriel’s Oboe from the film The Mission is an excellent example of a beautiful melody: