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commissioning string music for an occasion

Why Not Use Your Time to Improvise?

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During this uncertain period when so many people are spending long periods at home, why not use your time to improvise? Below are four well known string pieces, which could be used as an inspirational starting point:

The Lark Ascending

It’s a good idea to start with a sense of structure. The key here is G major and the time signature 6/8. The mood is gentle, romantic and flowing with a sustained tune and some interspersed faster notes to give the sense of fluttering wings. Try improvising an opening section which  alternates long notes followed by some faster notes. Lead this into a long sustained tune. Then end by repeating your opening.

Autumn from The Four Seasons

This is F major and in 3/8. The dotted rhythms create much of the confident character. Try starting and ending with the same dotted rhythm section. In the middle create a slightly different feel with more bouncy rhythms. Keep it all in the major.

Waltz from Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings

The flowing waltz  is the character here. It’s 3/4 and in G major. See how many bars you can keep going by playing a happy, relaxed waltz in G.

Pirates of the Caribbean

A minor is the key here and the time is 12/8. The characteristics of the music are fast bows, strong rhythms, accents and a sense of brutality and suspense. Try some fast bows followed by a fast rhythmic tune with plenty of crescendos and some forte passages.

 

Arranging music for Cello Quartet

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I have just started arranging music for cello quartet. This is new for me.Previously I have only written music for two instruments: string duet or cello and piano.

How is quartet writing different?

As far as I can see so far it is essential that there is a clear tune in the quartet throughout. Unlike duos, where there are two soloistic parts alternately accompanying and playing the tune, in a quartet most of the parts are accompaniment at any time. It’s important that the melodic line in the accompaniment, as well as in the tune, makes sense. And, as you see in Puccini scores – you can sometimes double the line of the tune with another part and it’s effective. Having two or one people playing on their own in places varies the texture. Special effects – like tremolos, col legno, slides, pizz – are just as effective as in duets.And rhythm – as in all chamber music – is crucial. You can see many of these aspects of good quartet writing in the cello quartet arrangement below:

Repertoire so far

So far I am in the middle of arranging three short quartets for an ensemble that is starting at the beginning of February. If you are interested in having a bespoke cello or violin quartet, or indeed a standard quartet, arranged or composed for you, contact us here
arranging music for cello quartet                                                                                   The Prague Cello Quartet

Some inspiring cello quartets

Below are some inspiring (though varied) examples of cello quartets.

I love the improvisation at the beginning of this…  and the sunglasses…

Christmas Duets

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Christmas duets may not be our specialist area, but we do sell a newly composed piece called Christmas Variations which is available for cello and piano, for cello duet and as a violin and cello duet.

What is the music like?

The music is based on the carol Ding Dong Merrily on High and has three variations. It lasts around three minutes and the standard of music is around Grade 6.
Christmas duets

And remember we can arrange music for you

Remember – if you would like a Christmas carol arrangement of your own, for your own ensemble or as a gift for a friend, we can compose one for you at a reasonable price Click here to find out more or email us direct at info@fedorastrings.com