Violists are often asked to play for church services, weddings, funerals and other religious related events. Quite often either the keyboard player is unavailable or is not prepared to accompany the violist so the player must perform the songs without accompaniment. Simple melodies played on the viola can sound very nice but often thin and empty sounding without an accompaniment. This book is designed to enable the violist to play many popular hymns while providing his or her own harmony to the songs. In addition, these arrangements are suitable for concert performance as well.
The accompaniments I have arranged for these songs are all in keeping with standard viola practice handed down since the 17th century. Each song is arranged as a theme and variations, beginning with the melody harmonized with double-stops and progressing into more developed adaptations of the theme. The arrangements stay primarily in the first three positions with occasional harmonics and higher position work.
All the songs are quite old and in the public domain. Many use Irish, Scottish and even Jewish traditional melodies. Each song has three or four variations and last between 1½ minutes to 2½ minutes each. Violists are often asked to fill in between sections of a service and these arrangements provide the musician with several choices that would fit the time constraints and the sentiment of the moment.
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Digital (PDF) files of each song of this edition are available upon special request. The cost is $1,25 per song. Please use the Contact Form for this order.