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Original Compositions for String Orchestra

Band/Wind Ensemble | String Orchestra
 
Orchestra | Other Ensembles | Jazz Band

What you need to view the scores and listen to the recordings…

About the recordings

These recordings are, if I remember correctly, of a middle school string orchestra sight reading. So, the intonation is, well, "wide." (And by the way, all of the pieces were intended to be played on the string, not off.)

Notes for grade 1 pieces (Attack!, Victory!, and Setting of a Little Star)

  • 2nd violin, viola, and cello parts use open strings only.
  • First parts are mostly step-wise motion. Leaps are mostly to or from an open string.
  • In modes of D major.
  • No notes requiring the fourth finger for violins and viola.

The Compositions


Attack! (grade 1)
DURATION: 1:50
PRICE: $30
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Attack! is in E dorian mode (same notes as D major). The only nondiatonic notes are C naturals snuck into violas and cellos, using their open strings (easy!) and C naturals to avoid third (on violas) and fourth (on cellos) finger stretches. The writing is mostly homophonic, except in the bass, and a few spots. The dense, dark, exciting chords will be more challenging to students ears than to their fingers, and also, hopefully, an exciting and educational change from straight triadic harmony. Rhythms are easily bowed and counted groupings of eighths, quarters, and half-notes.

VIEW THE SCORE:
Attack!

LISTEN TO IT:
Real Audio (490 k)

.m4a (MPEG-4, MP3) (iTunes, etc.)


Victory! (grade 1)
DURATION: 0:47
PRICE: $25
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Victory! is in A mixolydian mode (same notes as D major), with no notes outside the key. The harmony is dense and exciting. Rhythms are easily bowed and counted groupings of eighths, quarters, and half-notes.

VIEW THE SCORE:
Victory!

LISTEN TO IT:
Real Audio (196 k)

.m4a (MPEG-4, MP3) (iTunes, etc.)


Setting of a Little Star (grade 1)
DURATION: 1:18
PRICE: $25
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As the title says, this is a setting of the familiar melody with a vigorous, lush, nonstandard harmonization, using only quarters and half-notes.

VIEW THE SCORE:
Setting of a Little Star

LISTEN TO IT:
Real Audio (343 k)

.m4a (MPEG-4, MP3) (iTunes, etc.)


Dance of the Yao Minority (grade 3?)
DURATION: 1:30
PRICE: $35
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An easy intro for junior high age players to a beautiful Chinese melody, with interesting parts for all, texture variations (pizz, homophony, counterpoint, etc.) and interesting, yet accessible harmonies.

VIEW THE SCORE:
Dance of the Yao Minority

LISTEN TO IT:
Real Audio (392 k)

.m4a (MPEG-4, MP3) (iTunes, etc.)



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