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String Quartet - Miniature


Louisf

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Hello everyone,

This is my first in a while, I have finally given writing for strings a go! It is only a short piece, but I would interested with what people have to say particularly with regards to double stops, bowing and any string writing conventions I should know about.

Thank you,

Louis

 

 

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Wow - I love this piece!  I love the quaint and rustic style.  I think the main theme is quite simple and subtly beautiful.  The modulation into the parallel minor mode is very effective at creating a contrast.  And then when the main theme returns in the major mode it's all the sweeter.

The only thing I would say might be a challenge for the cello (from my limited knowledge of strings) is the double stop at measures 7 & 33.  Double stopping the interval of a fifth is a bit difficult because the player has to barre the two strings at the same spot.  But then the top note moves up chromatically and might require the player to change their grip on the strings.  Then you also have the bottom note move back up to a fifth.  I wouldn't say change it - but a consultation with an actual cellist might be helpful.

Thanks for sharing this heartwarming piece!

Peter 

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On 2/5/2024 at 1:48 AM, PeterthePapercomPoser said:

Wow - I love this piece!  I love the quaint and rustic style.  I think the main theme is quite simple and subtly beautiful.  The modulation into the parallel minor mode is very effective at creating a contrast.  And then when the main theme returns in the major mode it's all the sweeter.

The only thing I would say might be a challenge for the cello (from my limited knowledge of strings) is the double stop at measures 7 & 33.  Double stopping the interval of a fifth is a bit difficult because the player has to barre the two strings at the same spot.  But then the top note moves up chromatically and might require the player to change their grip on the strings.  Then you also have the bottom note move back up to a fifth.  I wouldn't say change it - but a consultation with an actual cellist might be helpful.

Thanks for sharing this heartwarming piece!

Peter 

 

Dear Peter,

Thank you for your kind words and explanation about double stops.

And sorry I didn't reply sooner!

I have several cello friends so I will consult one of them at some point. There will probably be a way of reworking the affected bars to avoid the double stopped 5th. 

KR,

Louis

 

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11 hours ago, JordanRoberts said:

I find this very easy and pleasant to listen to. I agree from my limited work with cellists that a double stop of a fifth is a pain. Otherwise, I love this! What are you using for your recordings?

 

Thank you Jordan. I will have a chat with a cellist I know about double stops!

I am using Musescore 4 with the Sounds packs from MuseHub. They are free but sound quite good don't you think?

 

Louis

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On 2/5/2024 at 9:48 AM, PeterthePapercomPoser said:

double stop at measures 7 & 33

It is perfectly doable for the left hand. The question is how would you bow it. Like I mentioned in the slurs thread, you can't do separate bow strokes for one string and hold it for the other.

 

The actual "impossible" (well it's not impossible it's just not very organic and not worth the effort in chamber music) is the A octave in bar 10.
 

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3 hours ago, PCC said:

It is perfectly doable for the left hand. The question is how would you bow it. Like I mentioned in the slurs thread, you can't do separate bow strokes for one string and hold it for the other.

 

The actual "impossible" (well it's not impossible it's just not very organic and not worth the effort in chamber music) is the A octave in bar 10.
 

 

Thank you for this helpful information. Presumably I can just slur the top three notes (G-G#-A) over the C, so then it would be in one bow? 

I will get rid of the A octave in Bar 10 as it is unnecessary. Out of interest, what makes it difficult? Id it just Octaves in General?

Louis

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Dear all,

I have now added slur markings and made a few amendments. If anyone would be willing to give me some feedback on the bowing it would be much appreciated. 

Louis 

Edited by Louisf
Just realised there are few things I missed so did a quick edit!
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Octaves in general on the cello are played with the thumb position as opposed to the neck position. It’s a slightly advanced technique that is also used for playing the upper registers of the instrument. It can be used to great effect, but it would be no means by accident.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello Louisf,

This is wonderful work. Very well crafted in harmony, harmonic development, coherence and timing. It would be excellent to use as an “Encore”.  The only thing is that the score is in further need for some technical revisions. The slur markings need to be adjusted. For example, you might want to detach the slurred notes of the second violin in bar 31 from those in bar 32. String players are incredible in making very short detaches, but if you write things with a full slur, they will sort of glue it together. In the worst case, this can result in a kind of glissando. But I am not a string player, so the best thing is to ask an expert or maybe your fellow players. I noted your tenuto markings in bar 15.  I would suggest to shortly detach the 3 notes by skipping the tenuto markings and slur the three notes, while adding staccato markings.  This wil indicate a kind of portato, You may do something similar in other places as well.

Alltogether, This is a very successful little piece !

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