Violinists 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 violinist so the player must perform the songs without accompaniment. Simple melodies played on the violin can sound very nice but often thin and empty sounding without an accompaniment. This book is designed to enable the violinist 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 violin 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 of 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 1 ½ minutes to 2 ½ minutes each. Violinists are often asked to fill in between sections of a service and these arrangements provide the musician with a number of choices that would fit the time constraints and the sentiment of the moment.
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