ARCHER, Violet

THE DANCING KITTEN

Instrumentation: Violin, piano

Duration: 2'50"

Publisher: Canadian Music Centre, Calgary (Sherburne G. McCurdy Festival Series)

Level: Medium easy

Musical Characteristics: The playful and lively nature of this descriptive piece is accentuated by the grace notes which occur frequently. The time signature is 6/8 and the marking is Leggiero e grazioso with a dotted quarter = 58. Basic 6/8 rhythmic patterns are used, and are fairly consistent throughout, except where ties complicate the rhythm (e.g., bars 61 to 63, bar 67). Rhythmic durations ranging from sixteenth to dotted half notes are used, with eighth and dotted quarter rests fairly common also. There are several tempo changes. Bar 22 has a poco accelerando, and bar 25 is marked ritardando, with text beneath the line that reads, "The kitten is getting tired. He stretches out on the floor." Bar 34 is marked poco piu mosso, and here the text reads, "He dances gaily." At bar 46, it reads, "He whirls around." Ritardando markings are indicated in bars 57-8 and 70, followed by an a tempo marking. There are also several fermatas marked. There are elements of polytonality in this piece. There is no key signature, but F#, C#, and G# accidentals are found frequently, with occasional B-flat accidentals from bar 60 onwards. Phrasing is asymmetrical, with occasional piano interludes. The melody is a mixture of conjunct and disjunct motion consisting of small leaps.

Technical Challenges: This piece is playable in first position throughout, but there are also opportunities for some simple shifts into third position. Grace notes are fairly prevalent, and generally occur before quarter or dotted quarter notes. The motion of the grace notes to the main notes is step-wise, and consists of whole or half-tone intervals. The finger patterns are simple, using mainly high second finger, with occasional changes to low second and first fingers. Any shifting into third position changes the finger pattern, but it is fairly simple nevertheless. The speed of finger changes is usually moderate, but on the sixteenth notes it is considerably quicker, with no time to prepare. There is a mixture of fingered and unfingered string crossings. Detached and slurred bowings are used, with the length of the slurs ranging from two to six beats. Most of the slurs are to be played smoothly, but sometimes there is a dot over the last note in a slurred group. Dots are marked in other places also, on eighth notes for the most part. Dynamics change relatively frequently, and range from pp to f. Some of the changes are moderately subtle (e.g., bars 3 to 5 mf <f), while others are more obvious. Some of the more obvious dynamic changes have some preparation time. For example, bars 25 to 30 range from mf to mp, and back to mf again, with some rests to prepare the changes. In other places, there is no preparation time on the changes (e.g., bars 54 and 55 mp to mf). Bow distribution is different on the dotted quarter notes than it is on the eighth notes. For example, from bars 35 to 45, the distribution is fairly consistent, with a whole bow over the duration of a dotted quarter note. At the beginning, however, less bow is needed on the eighth notes. The bow speed and pressure also vary according to the dynamics. In bar 46, less speed and pressure are needed due to the p dynamic marking. In bar 51, however, an identical rhythmic and bowing pattern needs more speed and pressure due to the f making. There are a moderate number of string crossings, to adjacent strings only. Many of the string crossings involve open strings. Co-ordination between left and right hands is moderately challenging. The piano part keeps a steady eighth note pulse, and is waltz-like in style. It is technically very accessible to student piano introductionsts. Ensemble co-ordination is challenging during the tempo changes, and also where the sixteenth note passages occur in both parts, but in general it is not difficult.

Pedagogical Value: This piece provides opportunities to improve left hand dexterity on the grace notes and on the sixteenth-note passages. It also provides rhythmic, ensemble, and bowing challenges.

 

ARCHER, Violet

TWELVE MINIATURES FOR VIOLIN AND PIANO

Instrumentation: Violin, piano

Publisher: Waterloo Music

Level: Easy to Medium

Twelve Miniatures for Violin and Piano is a set of twelve short pieces ranging from an easy to a medium level of difficulty. These miniatures are based harmonically on various pentatonic and modal scales (e.g., Pentatonic, Aeolian, Dorian, Phrygian, and Mixolydian scales). The compositions are written in first position, and the fourth finger is used in each piece. The collection serves as a good introduction to certain technical aspects of the violin, such as pizzicato, spiccato, 2-, 3-, and 4-note chords, changing metre, use of a mute, glissando, and tremolo. Musically, the pieces encompass a variety of tempi and dynamic markings. Various moods are expressed, as suggested by such titles as "A Quiet Song," "Serious Mood," and "Joyous." The collection can be used for private study and practice, or for performance.

ARCHER, Violet

"IN CHURCH" from TWELVE MINIATURES FOR VIOLIN AND PIANO

Instrumentation: Violin, piano

Duration: 1'40"

Publisher: Waterloo Music

Level: Easy

Musical Characteristics: One of the interesting features of this piece is the metre, which changes from 4/4 + 2/4 to 4/4 several times during the piece. It is marked Largo maestoso with a quarter = 58. Eighth, quarter, and half notes are mainly used, along with two whole notes. The rhythmic patterns are relatively constant despite the metre changes. A basic quarter note pulse is maintained throughout. Harmonically, this piece is based on the Mixolydian scale starting on G. There is no key signature, and the only accidental is an F# found in the piano part. Form in this piece is non-specific and phrasing is asymmetrical, starting with a 7-bar phrase, followed by a 9-bar phrase, and ending with a 6-bar phrase. The melody is mainly step-wise with some motion in skips and leaps. In places where there are 2-note chords, the melodic texture is polyphonic.

Technical Challenges: Alternation between 2-note chords and a single line of melody happens quite frequently. The 2-note chords are relatively easy, with one open string and a fingered melody, or two open strings (e.g., bars 2 and 7). Most of the changes from a single-note melody to a 2-note melody are by step-wise motion of the melody line. The only exception is between bars 12 and 13, where there is a leap of a fourth in the melody, and a string crossing from the A and E strings to the D an A strings. This occurs at a natural breathing place and therefore there is a bit of time to pause to set the bow and finger properly, but co-ordination between left and right hands is challenging here. Bar 5 also presents a co-ordination challenge when changing from a 2-note chord to a single melody note, with a string crossing and finger change. Bow control is more difficult on the 2-note chords; an even bow pressure must be maintained on each string. Alternating between 2-note chords and a single note melody also presents a bow control challenge. Bow distribution is generally constant. On the whole and half notes, it is important to save the bow for an even sound over the entire note. The speed, pressure and sounding point are generally constant. A relatively slow bow speed is needed to suit the tempo. Heavy bow pressure is needed for a sustained sound, especially since the dynamic markings are generally loud throughout. Legato bowing is used, both detache and slurred, with slurs extending over not more than two beats. Bar 2 has a stress mark on the first beat for the violin, and bar 8 has portato bowing marked on the last eighth note. A finger pattern of low second finger is used and the speed of finger changes is slow, with ample time to prepare for each change. There is a mixture of fingered and unfingered string crossings. String crossings are to adjacent strings only. There are moderately subtle dynamic changes within the range of mf to f. Dynamic changes are relatively infrequent, with some shortcrescendos and decrescendos leading up to the various changes. The piano accompaniment consists of half, quarter, and eighth notes, with quarter-note movement alternating between the piano and the violin (e.g., bar 12 has a whole note in the violin part and quarter notes in the piano part). This constant quarter note pulse makes ensemble co-ordination relatively easy. The piano part is optional. This piece may be performed by unaccompanied violin.

Pedagogical Value: This piece is an excellent study in changing metres. The 2-note chords provide an opportunity to develop bow control and improve co-ordination between the left and right hands. The piece also presents opportunities to work on constant bow speed and pressure to attain a sustained, even sound.

 

ARCHER, Violet

"JIG" from TWELVE MINIATURES FOR VIOLIN AND PIANO

Instrumentation: Violin, piano

Duration: 20"

Publisher: Waterloo Music

Level: Easy

Musical Characteristics: This lively jig is an appropriate opening piece for the collection. Written in a typical 6/8 jig metre, it is marked allegretto with a dotted quarter = 96. A mixture of eighth, quarter, and dotted quarter notes make up the simple rhythmic patterns presented in this piece. Considerable melodic and rhythmic repetition is found within the two eight-bar phrases. The melody involves mainly conjunct motion, with some disjunct motion, including leaps of a fourth and a fifth involving one open string. Harmonically, this piece is based on a pentatonic scale starting on D, with a key signature of two sharps.

Technical Challenges: Bow distribution and speed are consistent throughout the piece, except in the final two bars. Generally, there is a change of bow every three beats, with two bows per bar. Legato bowing is used, with slurs extending over three beats, and portato bowing is marked on slurred, repeated notes. The finger pattern involves high second finger, and the speed of finger changes is moderate, with few fingered string crossings. String crossings involve an open string much of the time, and are to adjacent strings, since this piece is written on the D and A strings only. The dynamic range is relatively subtle, from mf to f, with some crescendos and diminuendos. The dynamic changes occur in very natural places in the music. Co-ordination between the left and right hands is relatively easy due to the straightforward bowing and fingering. The piano part provides a basic harmonic outline for the violin part that is not texturally or rhythmically complex, and therefore, ensemble co-ordination is straight-forward also.

Pedagogical Value: This piece provides a good introduction to 6/8 metre and to basic rhythmic patterns in this metre. The piece provides opportunities to practise slurred bowing, as well as legato and portato bowing. Use of the fourth finger is also stressed in this piece.

 

ARCHER, Violet

"LULLABY" from TWELVE MINIATURES FOR VIOLIN AND PIANO

Instrumentation: Violin, piano

Duration: 1'

Publisher: Waterloo Music

Level: Easy

Musical Characteristics: Larghetto tranquillo is the marking on this soothing lullaby, which calls for the use of a mute. The time signature is 6/8, with a dotted quarter = 48. There is a poco ritardando in bar 21, followed by an a tempo. The rhythmic patterns use eighth, quarter, dotted quarter, and dotted half notes. Changes in rhythmic patterns are infrequent. There is one fermata on the last note, as well as a fermata which applies to the piano part. Modal harmonies are used. Form is ABA'. Following a 2-bar piano introduction, the violin enters with a 7-bar phrase (section A). A 2-bar piano interlude then leads into a 6-bar phrase (section B). The piece concludes with the A' section, which is six bars long. The melody is a mixture of conjunct and disjunct motion. The largest leaps are of a fifth, and involve an open string.

Technical Challenges: Bow distribution is fairly constant throughout. Generally, a whole bow is used for the duration of a dotted quarter note. An even, sustained sound is desirable. A wide dynamic range is used. The piece starts and ends on p and pp respectively, but is marked f at bar 18. There are a moderate number of dynamic changes throughout, with some crescendos and decrescendos. Heavier bow pressure will be needed to produce a louder dynamic level. Less bow speed and pressure are needed in the last two bars, where tied dotted half notes are combined with a fermata and a diminuendo. The finger pattern uses low second finger. The speed of finger changes is slow, with ample time to prepare finger changes. Most of the bowing is slurred, although there are some detache notes. The third last bar has a portato on a repeated slurred note. Co-ordination between left and right hands is simple due to the consistently slurred bowing and the slow speed of finger changes. Co-ordination between piano and violin should not present problems. The piano part maintains an almost constant eighth note pulse in 6/8 throughout, with the left hand playing an unchanging intervallic pattern. The right hand usually moves in dotted quarter or dotted half notes.

Pedagogical Value: This piece provides opportunities to produce a wide range of dynamics, with different amounts of bow pressure affecting the various dynamic levels, and opportunities to work on bow distribution on slurs. The use of a mute introduces the student to an interesting violin timbre. This piece is useful for ear training since the modal harmonies require careful listening and tuning.

ARCHER, Violet

"ON TIP-TOE" from TWELVE MINIATURES FOR VIOLIN AND PIANO

Instrumentation: Violin, piano

Duration: 45"

Publisher: Waterloo Music

Level: Easy

Musical Characteristics: The most unusual aspect of this piece is the fact that it is played entirely pizzicato. The tempo is a quarter = 104, with an andante marking. The metre is 4/4. Rhythm is straight-forward, using quarter and eighth notes, and quarter and whole rests. Certain rhythmic motifs recur several times (e.g., bars 3, 13, and 17 are rhythmically identical). Pentatonic scales on D and on E are used. There is no key signature, but F# and C# accidentals are found in the music. Three asymmetrical phrases make up the piece. A 7-bar phrase begins the piece, an 8-bar phrase follows, and a 4-bar phrase ends the piece. Step-wise ascending motion is used frequently in the melody.

Technical Challenges: Pizzicato throughout makes co-ordination between left and right hands challenging, especially on the eighth notes, because the right hand index finger and the left hand fingers must connect at exactly the same time. The degree of force used when plucking influences the dynamic level. In bar 12, a more forceful, resonating pizzicato is needed for the f marking, whereas the mp at bar 7 needs a softer, less forceful pizzicato. Dynamics range from mp to ff, with changes occurring relatively frequently. Some subtle dynamic changes and crescendos and decrescendos are present (e.g., mf < f). A finger pattern using high second finger is required, and the fourth finger is used. The speed of finger changes is slow, with no fingered string crossings. The piano part is very sparse and provides erratic support for the violin. The many rests and entries on weak beats make ensemble co-ordination challenging.

Pedagogical Value: This piece provides experience in playing pizzicato. There is the opportunity to improve right and left hand co-ordination, as well as to work on varying dynamic levels and crescendos and diminuendos. There is the chance to work on the fourth finger specifically, and left hand dexterity in general on the eighth notes. Ensemble co-ordination may be improved through focus on counting in both the violin and piano parts.

 

ARCHER, Violet

"A QUIET SONG" from TWELVE MINIATURES FOR VIOLIN AND PIANO

Instrumentation: Violin, piano

Duration: 50"

Publisher: Waterloo Music

Level: Easy

Musical Characteristics: The relaxed nature of the piece is evident in the larghetto marking at the beginning. Tempo marking is a quarter = 80, varying slightly at the end due to a poco ritardando and fermata. The time signature is 4/4. Whole, half, and quarter notes make up simple rhythmic patterns. The composition is in an AB form, consisting of an 8-bar A section and an 8-bar B section, with little use of repetition. The harmony is modal, using the Dorian scale starting on D. There is no key signature. Step-wise motion is used in the melody, with some leaps of a perfect fourth involving one open string.

Technical Challenges: Legato bowing is used, with portato bowing on slurred, repeated notes. Slurring of quarter and half notes is common. Bow distribution, speed, and pressure vary in this piece. Changes in bow distribution and speed occur in bars 10 and 12, where one bow is held over four beats, and in bar 13, where the violin enters on a weak beat. The bow pressure varies with the dynamics; for example, between bars 9 and 10 less pressure is needed, but overall, the pressure should be constant in all parts of the bow for an even tone. The dynamics range from p to f. There are some moderately subtle and frequent dynamic changes (e.g., p to mp, f to mf). Crescendos and decrescendos are also present. A finger pattern using low second finger is required, and fourth finger is included. String crossings are infrequent, and to adjacent strings only. The speed of finger changes is slow, with few fingered string crossings. Co-ordination between left and right hands presents few challenges due to straight-forward rhythm and bowing, and a conjunct melody. The accompaniment is rhythmically straight-forward, keeping a quarter note pulse. The poco ritardando and fermata in the last bar would be the only challenge to ensemble co-ordination.

Pedagogical Value: This composition provides opportunities to work on good bow distribution and to experiment with varying bow speed and pressure on dynamic changes. Knowledge of and familiarity with the Dorian scale is stressed, and there is opportunity to practise tempo changes with the poco ritardando and fermata.

 

ARCHER, Violet

"SERIOUS MOOD" from TWELVE MINIATURES FOR VIOLIN AND PIANO

Instrumentation: Violin, piano

Duration: 1'

Publisher: Waterloo Music

Level: Easy

Musical Characteristics: This very slow and sustained piece is marked largo molto with a quarter = 48, in 2/4 metre. There is a ritardando and fermata at the end. Half, quarter, eighth, sixteenth, and thirty-second notes are used, with some syncopations due to the use of ties. A three-phrase form is used. The composition begins with an eight-bar phrase which is followed by a nine-bar phrase, and ends with a seven-bar phrase. Harmony is based on the modal Aeolian scale on A. The only accidental is a B-flat in the piano part. The melody consists mainly of conjunct motion, with leaps of a perfect fifth involving an open string. There is a leap of a tenth between bars 17 and 18 as phrase two ends and phrase three begins.

Technical Challenges: Bow distribution in this piece is difficult for the beginner because one bow stroke is often held over several beats. The speed of the bow is slow on these long notes, and is faster on the single quarter notes (e.g., bar 13). A wide range of dynamics from f to pp is used. Dynamics in this piece are important in creating movement over the tied notes; crescendos and diminuendos are often indicated on the longer notes. The bowing is very legato, with slurs over as many as four beats (e.g., bars 2 and 3). Bar 9 starts up-bow, with three beats of preparation time. Easy finger patterns with high and low second finger are used. In bar 16, the second finger moves back from C-natural to B-natural on the A string, and then a low first finger is used to play F-natural on the E string. This passage places the hand briefly in half position. The speed of finger changes is fairly slow, with time to prepare. String crossings are infrequent, and two of the four crossings involve an open string for preparation time. Three of the crossings are to adjacent strings, while the crossing between bars 17 and 18 involves a leap from the E string to the G string. This occurs at the end of a phrase, however, and a breath mark indicates time to prepare the bow. Bar 18 begins up-bow, and consequently good bow control is needed on this leap. This section also presents difficulties in left and right hand co-ordination because, as well as the string change, there is a finger change from low first finger on the E string to fourth finger on the G string. Co-ordination is not difficult in the remainder of the piece. The piano part provides support for the violin part and also provides quarter note movement during the violin rests and tied notes. Ties, entries on weak beats, and long pauses in the piano part complicate ensemble co-ordination.

Pedagogical Value: Rhythmic precision and careful counting are necessary in the dotted rhythms. This piece is an excellent study in bow control. The long slurs give the student opportunities to work on saving the bow, sustaining the sound in all parts of the bow, and controlling changes of bow speed and pressure as rhythmic patterns and dynamics change. There are also opportunities to work on left and right hand co-ordination, and on ensemble.

 

ARCHER, Violet

"SUNNY SKIES" from TWELVE MINIATURES FOR VIOLIN AND PIANO

Instrumentation: Violin, piano

Duration: 40"

Publisher: Waterloo Music

Level: Easy

Musical Characteristics: This is a rhythmically interesting piece which uses a variety of durations and patterns. Note values range from eighth notes to whole notes, and rhythmic patterns include dotted rhythms, syncopated rhythms in bars 5, 8, and 11, and straight eighth and quarter notes on the beat. Time signature is 4/4 with a quarter = 132. The piece is marked Allegretto, and the tempo is unchanging. The piece is in ABA' form. Section A is nine bars long. Section B is seven bars. Section A' is six bars long. The melody contains both conjunct and disjunct movement, with prominent leaps of a fourth and a fifth, sometimes involving an open string. The piece centres on A, with A pentatonic and A+ scales both being used. The piano part is based on the interval of a fourth, used in solid and broken chords. Prominent use is also made of major seconds in the piano part.

Technical Challenges: Several different styles of bowing are used, including detached and slurred bowing, staccato and legato bowing. In the second last bar, there is a mark indicating added emphasis on the A. The dynamics (mf and f) are marked infrequently. Bars 13, 14, and 15 are challenging dynamically due to the very short decrescendos in these bars. More bow pressure is needed on louder dynamics. Bow distribution changes frequently. The bowing pattern is not constant. Slurs and detache bowings are placed seemingly at random. A finger pattern using high second finger is used, with a moderate speed of finger changes. Most of the string changes are unfingered. String crossings involve adjacent strings and are relatively frequent. The fingered string crossings and varying articulation and bow distribution make co-ordination between the left and right hands moderately difficult (e.g., bar 12 has changing articulation and fingers, combined with a string crossing). A combination of on- and off-beat chords is used in the piano part. From bars 1 to 3, chords are on the off-beat. The right hand, from the third bar onwards, is rhythmically on the beat, while the left hand maintains the off-beat. This continuous off-beat accompaniment makes ensemble co-ordination more difficult. Counting and a steady tempo are necessary.

Pedagogical Value: This piece is useful for developing bow control. There is a great deal of variety in bow distribution. The different rhythmic durations, combined with slurs, ties, and detached bowing, require the use of different parts of the bow. Various types of bowing are used. There is opportunity to practise a limited dynamic range, and to refine the various dynamic levels. There is also a chance to practise several very short decrescendos (bars 13-15), as well as a more gradual decrescendo in the last bar. There is an opportunity for the student to improve his or her rhythmic sense and counting abilities through the changing rhythmic patterns.

 

ARCHER, Violet

"WALTZING" from TWELVE MINIATURES FOR VIOLIN AND PIANO

Instrumentation: Violin, piano

Duration: 1'5"

Publisher: Waterloo Music

Level: Easy

Musical Characteristics: In a typical 3/4 waltz time, "Waltzing" has a lilting, light-hearted feeling to it. Marked Allegretto with a quarter = 138, this piece uses quarter, half, and dotted half notes. Tempo is steady throughout, and rhythmic patterns are relatively constant. The violin begins after a 4-bar piano introduction. There is no key signature and no obvious tonal centre. Various accidentals occur in the violin and the piano parts. The frequently changing accidentals, in the violin part especially, suggest polytonality. The melody moves by step and small leaps (thirds, fourth, fifths, and sixths).

Technical Challenges: Finger patterns change frequently, with alterations affecting each finger at some point during the piece. Each new finger pattern usually lasts for several bars, giving the student time to adjust to it. Chromatic alteration involving the slide of a finger up a semitone is present in bars 25 and 26, and in bar 33. Bow distribution is relatively constant, usually with three beats per bow. The most obvious changes of distribution are on the long tied notes (bars 34-6 and 46-51). The style is legato, with many smooth slurs. Bars 41 and 42 have stress marks over the Ef in each bar. A slight vibrato is desirable here to warm up the tone. There are frequent string crossings to adjacent strings. The speed of finger changes is moderate, with quite a few fingered string crossings. Co-ordination between left and right hands is not difficult because the bowing changes infrequently. There may be slight co-ordination difficulty with some of the string crossings combined with finger changes (e.g., bars 8 to 9). The piano accompaniment provides support in a typical waltz accompaniment consisting mainly of quarter notes. The rests in the piano part at bars 31 and 37-40 might complicate ensemble co-ordination, but the moderate tempo and straight-forward accompaniment make co-ordination relatively easy.

Pedagogical Value: The chromatic alterations and changes in finger patterns can help to develop left hand finger dexterity. Relatively subtle dynamic changes can be practised using varying bow speeds and pressures. This is a useful study in bow distribution and in smooth bow changes. It is also valuable for aural development.

ARCHER, Violet

"WITH DETERMINATION" from TWELVE MINIATURES FOR VIOLIN AND PIANO

Instrumentation: Violin, piano

Duration: 1'

Publisher: Waterloo Music

Level: Easy

Musical Characteristics: "With Determination" is a solemn piece marked andante moderato, with a quarter = 96 in 4/4 metre. The tempo is unchanging, with the exception of the fermata at the end. The rhythmic patterns are simple, featuring mainly quarter and half notes, with a few eighth notes, one dotted half note, and one whole note. Modal scales provide the harmonic basis. There is no key signature, and no accidentals are used. The melody is a mixture of conjunct and disjunct movement, with two leaps of a perfect fifth involving one open string. 2-note chords involving at least one open string are featured in bars 14 to 20 and bars 22 to 24.

Technical Challenges: On the 2-note chords, good bow control is important for an even sound. Bar 17 is especially difficult because the bow must cross from the D and A strings to the A and E strings, and then back again. This string crossing requires bow control and good co-ordination between left and right hands. Generally, the chord preceding a string crossing is played on two open strings. A heavy bow arm is needed to produce a strong sound at a f dynamic level. The chord in the last bar is the most difficult because it is marked ff and is accented. Proper bow speed and pressure are needed here, and also on the accented notes in bar 22. The style is generally legato, with a mixture of slurred and detache bow strokes. Portato bowing is found in bars 7, 13, and 20 on quarter and eighth notes. The dynamic markings of mf at the beginning to ff at the end, with some short crescendos and diminuendos, dictate the need for slight alterations in bow pressure and speed. A finger pattern with low second finger is used throughout, with the speed of finger changes being slow. There is plenty of time to prepare finger changes, and there is a mixture of fingered and unfingered string crossings. Most of the piece is played on the D and A strings, with the G and E strings being used occasionally. There are a moderate number of string crossings, to adjacent strings only. Co-ordination between left and right hands is more difficult in instances such as bar 17, or between bars 18 and 19, when a string crossing is combined with 2-note chords and a change of fingers. The piano part is written entirely in octaves and moves rhythmically in quarter, half, dotted half, and whole notes, with a steady pulse throughout. Ties in the piano and violin parts make careful counting and sensitive ensemble playing necessary. Generally, rhythmic movement alternates between the piano and violin parts. When the violin has quarter notes, the piano part has a tied note (e.g., bar 10) and vice versa.

Pedagogical Value: This piece presents opportunities to develop bow control as dynamics, articulation, and bow speed change. The 2-note chords are challenging for bow control, and also for co-ordination between left and right hands.

 

COULTHARD, Jean

"The Climb Up Mount Royal" from A LA JEUNESSE, Book 2

Instrumentation: Violin, piano

Duration: 45"

Publisher: Waterloo Music

Level: Easy

Musical Characteristics: Coulthard suggests that when playing this descriptive piece, the student should "try to have the feeling of footsteps slowly climbing up and up." It is marked "moderately--a walking pace," with a metre of :. Eighth, quarter, dotted quarter, and half notes are used, with quarter and half rests also. There is a tie from bar 10 to bar 11, and there are accents on the half notes in the last three bars as the climber reaches the top of Mount Royal. A ritardando is marked at bar 10, with an a tempo in the following bar, and there is a fermata on the last note. The rhythmic patterns are simple and repetitive.

Form is ABA'. Section A consists of a 2-bar piano introduction and a 4-bar phrase for violin and piano. Section B consists of a 4-bar phrase, followed by a 2-bar piano interlude in bars 11 and 12. Section A' begins in bar 13 with the melody originally found in bars 3 and 4. The original 4-bar phrase is extended here to 5 bars. The piece is interesting harmonically. It is in F#-, with a modulation to C#-, a B+ chord at the end of the second phrase (bar 10), and a final mixolydian mode cadence as an F#+ chord concludes the piece. The melody ascends in scale-like motion much of the time, with occasional leaps of a fourth, fifth, and sixth. The style is very legato. The on-going eighth note motion in the piano part suggests footsteps.

Technical Challenges: First position is used throughout, with a simple finger pattern using high second finger. The speed of finger changes is moderate. There are a moderate number of string crossings, all involving adjacent strings since the piece uses only the A and E strings. Bar 7 involves a string crossing to the A string for an eighth note. Between bars 7 and 8 there is a fingered crossing from the E string to the A string, using first finger on both strings. The bowing in this piece is legato, with frequent slurs over the duration of two and sometimes four eighth notes. A slow bow speed is needed in the bars where one bow is held over the duration of four eighth notes (e.g., bars 5, 8, 9, and 15 to 17) and where one bow is held for the duration of six eighth notes (bars 10-11). More bow pressure is needed in the last four bars due to the accents and the louder dynamic level. The dynamic range is p to f, with time to prepare for dynamic changes. Crescendos and decrescendos are marked as well. Bars 9 and 10 are challenging dynamically because the crescendo and diminuendo are quite short. Careful counting is needed in the violin part on the rests and dotted rhythms. The violinist should listen to the piano which maintains an eighth note pulse until the last three bars, where there are half notes. Sensitive ensemble playing is needed on these final three bars due to identical rhythms in both parts. Ensemble co-ordination is challenging in bars 10 and 11, where tempo changes occur.

Pedagogical Value: This piece provides opportunities to work on tone production and smooth bow changes. It is also useful in developing rhythmic, ensemble, and aural skills.

 

COULTHARD, Jean

"Grandfather Tells a Witch Story" from A LA JEUNESSE,

Book 1

Instrumentation: Violin, piano

Duration: 41"

Publisher: Waterloo Music

Level: Easy

Musical Characteristics: This piece is to be played "mysteriously." Coulthard uses sharp accents and sudden sforzandos, and chromaticism in the piano part to suggest elements of mystery. During the one-bar piano introduction, the words "Once upon a time" can be spoken in rhythm. This piece uses much repetition. Bars 3, 11, and 12 are the same as bar 2 for the violinist. The four bars are almost identical in the piano part. Bar 5 is the same as bar 4. Bar 7 is the same as bar 6 except for the dynamic level. After the one-bar piano introduction there is an eight-bar phrase, followed by a bar of piano interlude, and then a four-bar phrase to end. The time signature is 4/4. The piano introduction is to be played "slowly," and the remainder of the piece is played at a quicker tempo but "not too fast." The rhythm is straight-forward, with eighth notes and rests and some whole notes, half notes, and quarter rests. There is a ritenuto and fermata at the end of the first phrase, but this affects the piano accompaniment more than the violin part, which has a long held note and rests. The tonal centre is F#-. There is considerable chromaticism. The melody features a good deal of conjunct movement. Leaps are generally preceded by an eighth note rest, providing time to prepare. Eighth notes in the accompaniment help to maintain a steady pulse and tempo.

Technical Challenges: Accented eighth notes require good bow control. The dynamic changes are obvious and infrequent. The dynamics for the violin consist of f and p, with a sforzando at the end of each phrase, and a gradual diminuendo to p. Bow distribution, speed, and sounding point are constant during the eighth note passages which require clean articulation. Tremolo sul ponticello is optional on the tied notes in the final two bars. A well-controlled tremolo requires relaxed right wrist movement. The finger pattern uses high second finger. There are no finger pattern changes, and the piece remains in first position, using only the A and E strings. The speed of finger changes is moderate, with some use of fingered string crossings. The last note involves a leap of a major sixth from open A to F#, but the open A string gives time to prepare the finger for the F#. There are minimal co-ordination problems between the left and right hands. The piece is composed mainly of step-wise eighth notes, with a single bow stroke for each note.

Pedagogical Value: This piece provides opportunities to develop bow control and tone production. The piece also presents rhythmic, ensemble, and aural challenges. For example, the eighth notes must be played in proper tempo and must be co-ordinated with the piano part; tempo changes must be well controlled; dissonances must be carefully tuned.

 

COULTHARD, Jean

"The Great Elephant" from A LA JEUNESSE, Book 1

Instrumentation: Violin, piano

Duration: 25"

Publisher: Waterloo Music

Level: Easy

Musical Characteristics: An accompanying paragraph below the composition in the student book gives clues to the nature of this piece. Suggestions such as playing f, with a strong tone, and not too quickly, aid in creating the idea of an elephant walking along. A marking of "March time, rather heavy" reinforces this idea. Time signature is 2/4, and tempo is constant throughout. Eighth and quarter notes are mainly used, with occasional half notes, in simple rhythmic patterns. Form is very straight-forward. A 2-bar piano introduction is followed by a 4-bar "question" played by violin and piano. Following an identical 2-bar piano interlude, violin and piano play a 5-bar answering phrase. Although there is no key signature, a C# accidental throughout suggests A+. The piano accompaniment features dissonant intervals (seconds and sevenths). The melody moves mainly by step.

Technical Challenges: The consistency of the technical aspects make this a very good piece for a beginner. A single finger pattern with high second finger is used throughout. Smooth detache bowing is required. A moderate bow speed and firm pressure are needed for a strong tone. The dynamic level is marked f throughout, with a crescendo at the end. Co-ordination between hands is not difficult due to the straight-forward bowing and moderate speed of finger changes. The only string crossing involves an open E string, with two bars of rest to prepare for a return to the A string. A steady, moderate tempo makes ensemble co-ordination simple. The piano part consists of eighth and quarter notes, and acts as basic support under the violin part. The violinist must count carefully during the piano introduction and interlude.

Pedagogical Value: The title and short paragraph might very well catch the interest and imagination of young students. This piece provides opportunities to develop firm tone and careful bow distribution. The dissonant intervals in the piano part can aid the student's aural development, and the piece can also help to develop basic rhythmic and ensemble skills.

 

COULTHARD, Jean

"Let's Play" from A LA JEUNESSE, Book 2

Instrumentation: Violin, piano

Duration: 25"

Publisher: Waterloo Music

Level: Easy

Musical Characteristics: "Let's Play" is a bright, quick composition which is marked "Allegro (Jolly)." Metre is 2/4. Tempo is steady throughout this short piece. Rhythms are simple, using eighth, quarter and half notes, and eighth and quarter rests. The violin part requires careful counting in bars 13, 14, 17, 18 and 19. The piece is in rounded binary form. A two-bar piano introduction leads to the eight-bar A section. Section B begins with a four-bar phrase. The final phrase is five bars long and includes material from section A. The key of A+ is used throughout. The use of seconds and ninths in the piano chords should be noted. The melody moves by step or small skips. There are perfect fourth leaps in the violin part in bars 11 and 12. Pizzicato notes in bars 13-14 and 18-19 add timbral variety. The piano part reinforces the rhythmic pulse with an alternating eighth-note, eighth-rest figure. The piano has some melodic interest as it imitates the violin's ascending and descending eighth note melodic figures (bars 9-10, 13-14, and 17-18).

Technical Challenges: A moderate amount of finger dexterity is needed in this piece. Some of the string crossings are fingered. Detache and short martele bowing styles are used. In bars 13 and 14, left hand pizzicato is required, with one beat rest to provide time to change from arco to pizzicato, and one-and-a-half beats to change back to arco. The final two bars consist of octave chords (open A to 3rd finger A on the E string), played using right hand pizzicato. Rests provide time to change from arco to pizzicato. Most of the piece is played in the middle of the bow. At the end of the three-beat tied note, a rest provides time to place the bow in the middle again. The accented notes need added bow pressure. First position is used with a single finger pattern which requires high second finger. The piece uses only the A and E strings, and therefore all string crossings are to adjacent strings. The co-ordination between left and right hands is moderately easy. Generally, there is an open string note when there is a string change for easier co-ordination. Usually any change in bowing or rhythm involves an open string (e.g., in bars 9 and 10, and bars 13 and 14). The dynamics are p and f, with a diminuendo on the long, tied note in bars 9-10. Almost every bar begins with an accented eighth note. This helps to maintain a steady, even tempo.

Pedagogical Value: This piece is useful in developing ensemble skills, especially when the melodic material passes from violin to piano, and in developing rhythmic skills. This piece also provides opportunities to work on bow control and on the co-ordination between left and right hands on the eighth notes. It is also useful for developing control of left and right hand pizzicato.

 

COULTHARD, Jean

"A QUIET MOMENT" from A LA JEUNESSE, Book 1

Instrumentation: Violin, piano

Duration: 45"

Publisher: Waterloo Music

Level: Easy

Musical Characteristics: This composition should be played smoothly and expressively, with special attention to the dynamics. It is marked "Quite slowly and peacefully." Metre is 3/4. The rhythms are simple and repetitive, with varying combinations of eighth, quarter, half, and dotted half notes being used, along with quarter rests. There is a tie over six beats in the last two bars. A form of ABA' is used. Following a one-bar piano introduction, there are two two-bar phrases for violin and piano. Section B begins in bar 6, and is seven bars long. The melody is in the piano part in bars 10-12 while the violin plays an accompaniment on the open A string. There is a rit. marked in bar 11 and a fermata in bar 12, and then, following a slight pause, section A' begins a tempo. It is seven bars in length, fading away and slowing down in the final three bars, with a fermata in the last bar. The piece is in f#-, moving to A+ at the end of section B and ending on an F#+ chord in bars 18-19. There is considerable chromatic movement in the piano part. In bar 17, the cross relation between C# (in the violin and in the piano right hand) against C-natural (in the piano left hand) should be noted. The melody moves mainly by step and by perfect fourth or fifth leaps.

Technical Challenges: This piece uses a simple finger pattern with high second finger, and is played throughout in first position. The speed of finger changes is slow, with ample preparation time. String crossings from the A string to the E string in bars 4, 6, 8, and 15 are fingered. They move from a B or C# on the A string to F# on the E string. However, string crossings from the E string to the A string are unfingered, utilizing the open E string. A legato bow stroke is used to produce a peaceful, soothing melodic line. Slurred and detache bowings are used, with slurs over no more than a bar. Long bow strokes using the entire bow are required, with a fairly slow bow speed. Crescendos and decrescendos are important for providing movement on the longer note durations. The dynamics range from pp to mf, with changes occurring frequently. Some dynamic changes are subtle (e.g., bars 2-5, mp < >). The bow pressure varies according to the dynamics, but it is generally fairly light, with more pressure in bar 11 where it is marked mf. Stress markings on notes in bars 10, 11, 12, 16, and 17 require more bow pressure for extra emphasis. Since the composition involves only the A and E strings, the string crossings are not difficult. Co-ordination between left and right hands is straight-forward. The piano part consists of eighth, quarter, and half notes, and provides a basic accompaniment for the violin. Sensitive ensemble playing is required where there are alterations to tempo in bars 11, 12, 17, 18, and 19.

Pedagogical Value: This piece provides opportunities to work on bow control and distribution, and to develop a smooth, expressive tone. It is also valuable for developing control of dynamic changes.

 

COULTHARD, Jean

"THE SAILBOAT ON THE LAKE" from A LA JEUNESSE, Book 2

Instrumentation: Violin, piano

Duration: 50"

Publisher: Waterloo Music

Level: Easy

Musical Characteristics: Coulthard indicates that this piece suggests a small sailboat gliding gently on the water. It is marked "Floating gently," with a metre of 3/4. Quarter, half, and dotted half notes are used, with quarter rests. There are several tempo changes. Fermatas are marked in bars 14, 18, and 22. Bars 6, 10, and 14 are marked poco rit., with an a tempo in the following bar each time. The final four bars are to be played "gradually slower to the end." The predominant rhythmic pattern is a half-note followed by a quarter-note. Form is AB. Section A begins with a 2-bar piano introduction, followed by two 4-bar phrases for violin and piano. Section B consists of two 4-bar phrases and a 4-bar coda. The composition centres on f#-, and features interesting harmonic movement. Phrase two ends on an E+ chord (bar 10), phrase four ends on a dominant seventh chord in f#-, and the piece ends on an F#+ chord. The chromatic alterations and the use of minor sevenths in the piano part should be noted. The melody often moves in fourths, with some step-wise motion as well.

Technical Challenges: A beautiful, cantabile tone is needed in this piece, and therefore smooth legato bowing is required. Bars 11 and 13 require portato bowing. The bow distribution is relatively consistent, with an entire bow over one bar. The half note require 2/3 of the bow, and the remaining 1/3 of the bow is required for the quarter note. Overall, a relatively slow bow speed is needed. The bow pressure is quite light throughout due to the generally soft dynamic level. The last four bars require a slower bow speed and less pressure, with long, smooth bow strokes. Dynamics range from p to mf, with occasional crescendos and diminuendos. The dynamics change infrequently and gradually. String crossings are relatively frequent, involving adjacent strings. Only the A and E strings are used. The optional use of fourth finger alters the placement of string crossings. The entire composition is played in first position, with a slow speed of finger changes. Fingered string crossings are optional, depending on whether or not the fourth finger is used. A simple finger pattern with high second finger is used. Co-ordination of left and right hands is straight-forward due to the consistent bowing, the slow speed of finger changes, and the unchanging finger pattern. Frequent tempo changes are tricky, and sensitive ensemble playing is needed where the tempo changes and when pauses occur. Quarter note movement in the piano part aids ensemble co-ordination.

Pedagogical Value: This piece provides opportunities to improve bow distribution and to develop tone production and bow control. It can be used to develop left hand fourth finger action. It is also useful for ensemble training because of the tempo changes.

 

COULTHARD, Jean

"A SONG FOR BEDTIME" from A LA JEUNESSE, Book 2

Instrumentation: Violin, piano

Duration: 45"

Publisher: Waterloo Music

Level: Easy

Musical Characteristics: A slow, relaxed tempo, and an easing up at the end of each phrase are essential in "A Song for Bedtime," which is marked, "play slowly and dreamily." The rhythm consists of simple eighth, quarter, and half notes, and the metre is 2/4 throughout. The rhythmic pattern changes infrequently. Fermatas end phrases one, two, and four, and phrases three and four end with ritardandos. The form is rounded binary. There is a two-bar piano introduction followed by a four-bar "question" and a corresponding four-bar "answer." Section B begins with a four-bar phrase which is answered by a four-bar phrase featuring material from section A. This piece is harmonically interesting. It begins in f#-, moves to A+, then to C#+, then back to f#-, ending on an F#+ chord. The use of minor sevenths and modal effects in the piano part should be noted. The melody is made up of mainly disjunct movement, with some stepwise motion.

Technical Challenges: The dynamic changes are relatively subtle, ranging from pp to mp. Dynamics change fairly infrequently. There are some short crescendos and decrescendos. Bowing is very smooth and legato. There are legato and portato 2-note slurs on the eighth notes. The bow distribution and speed are generally constant, except in the case of half notes and ritardandos, where slower bow speed is needed. Starting down-bow every four bars requires retaking of the bow after the first and second fermata. In the left hand, high second finger is used throughout, with optional fourth finger. The speed of finger changes is relatively slow, with some fingered string crossings. Only the A and E strings are used in this piece. There are some string changes with no preparation time. There are few co-ordination problems between hands, except for fingered string crossings. The eighth notes in the piano accompaniment help provide a steady pulse, but ritardandos and fermatas make ensemble co-ordination between violin and piano challenging.

Pedagogical Value: This piece provides opportunities to work on tempo changes. It is useful for developing ensemble skills and control of intonation and tone production.

 

DUKE, David

"ALL ALONE" from A LA JEUNESSE, Book 1

Instrumentation: Violin, piano

Duration: 45"

Publisher: Waterloo Music

Level: Easy

Musical Characteristics: "All Alone" is a short, sad piece which is very legato in style. It is marked "gently," in 4/4. It is in double binary form (AA'BB'). Each section consists of a single four-bar phrase. Each phrase has the same straight-forward rhythm, using quarter, half, and dotted half notes, and a quarter rest. The simple, folk-like melody uses conjunct and disjunct motion within a narrow range (open A to open E). The tonal centre is A, with dissonant and modal harmonies in the piano part. Tempo is moderate throughout, with a ritardando at the end.

Technical Challenges: A relaxed, steady bow arm is needed to produce a gentle and legato sound. Bow distribution must be carefully controlled. Bow speed must be slower on the half and dotted half notes, and the pressure as well as the bow speed must vary according to the dynamics. There is a retake of the bow at the beginning of each four-bar phrase. The quarter rest at the end of the preceding phrase provides time for the retake. Bowing is detache, with no slurs or ties. The dynamics range from p to mf, with two crescendos, and a diminuendo at the end of each phrase. The dynamics are moderately subtle for a beginner (e.g., bars 5 to 8 are marked p >). A single finger pattern with high second finger is used, and the speed of finger changes is slow, leaving time to prepare finger changes. There are no fingered string crossings. All fingered notes are on the A string. The only string crossings are to the open E string. Co-ordination between left and right hands is straight-forward.

Pedagogical Value: This piece provides opportunities to shape a simple melodic line expressively. It is a useful study in legato bowing and in dynamics. The dissonant and modal harmonies help expand the student's aural awareness.

 

DUKE, David

"THE ALLIGATOR" from A LA JEUNESSE, Book 1

Instrumentation: Violin, piano

Duration: 30"

Publisher: Waterloo Music

Level: Easy

Musical Characteristics: A short poem describing an alligator accompanies this composition, and may be read aloud before a performance. The piece is marked "Ferociously." Metre is 4/4. Rhythmic durations range from eighth to half notes, with quarter rests. The rhythmic patterns are fairly simple and repetitive. The piano maintains a quarter note pulse. The form is AA'. A 2-bar piano introduction begins section A, and is followed by a 4-bar phrase for violin and piano. Section A' begins with a 2-bar piano interlude which is followed by a 4-bar phrase in which the violin plays pizzicato. The violin melody moves by step and small leaps. There are two augmented fourth leaps (bars 3 and 4), and one leap of an octave (bar 12). The tonal centre of the piece is G. The violin melody is in the Lydian mode. The piano accompaniment features dissonant chords and frequent cross relations. B-flat and B-natural are juxtaposed in the piano part and also occur between the violin and piano. For example, in bars 3, 4, 9, and 10, the violin plays B-natural against the piano's B-flat. The piece begins p, moving through a molto crescendo in bars 1 and 2. The violin enters ff in bar 3, and the piano interlude (bars 7 and 8) is also ff. The dynamic level in bar 9 is f, with a crescendo in bars 11 and 12, leading to a ff conclusion.

Technical Challenges: This piece is played entirely in first position, and has a simple, unchanging finger pattern using high second finger. Heavy bow pressure and quick bow speed are needed to express the ferocious nature of the melody at the required f and ff dynamic levels. The bowing is mainly detache, with slurs in bars 4, 5, 6, and 11, and slurred staccato in bars 2 and 11. A line indicating extra emphasis is marked on the first beat in bars 3 and 4. There are a moderate number of string crossings, involving adjacent strings. The crossings must be well controlled. Special care is needed in bar 5 where there is a slurred crossing to the E string for one eighth note only. The speed of finger changes is moderate. There are two full bars to prepare for the pizzicato at bar 9. The pizzicato is marked "ad lib." There is an optional 2-note pizzicato octave chord in the last bar involving the third finger on the D string, and the open G string. Co-ordination between hands is straight-forward during section A, because the speed of bow and finger changes is moderate. During the pizzicato section, timing between hands must be precise. Counting is important in the violin part, due to the rests which occur in bars 1, 2, 7, 8, 9 and 10. Because the piano part provides a steady quarter-note pulse throughout, ensemble co-ordination is straight-forward. Intonation requires careful attention, especially where there are dissonances between the violin and piano.

Pedagogical Value: This piece provides opportunities for strong, bold playing, using heavy bow pressure and a quick bow speed. It is useful for developing confident pizzicato playing, and for developing rhythmic and aural skills.

 

DUKE, David

"PIBROCH: IN FOLKSONG STYLE" from A LA JEUNESSE, Book 1

Instrumentation: Violin, piano

Duration: 1'

Publisher: Waterloo Music

Level: Easy

Musical Characteristics: This composition is written in the style of a folk melody from the British Isles. It is marked "slow," with a metre of 4/4. The rhythmic durations include eighth, quarter, dotted quarter, half, and dotted half notes. Rhythmic patterns are basic. A poco rit. leads into the final two bars, and there is a fermata on the last note. The piece consists of two 4-bar phrases played by unaccompanied violin, and then repeated with harp-like piano accompaniment. Harmonically, the piece is in the Mixolydian mode. The melody contains frequent leaps of a third and a fourth, as well as step-wise motion.

Technical Challenges: First position is used throughout. The speed of finger changes is slow, with ample time to prepare. Simple finger patterns are used, with high second finger on the D string and low second finger on the A string. Fourth finger is used frequently. Bowing is legato throughout. There are occasional slurs over the duration of two beats at the most, and the rest of the bowing is detache. The style must be cantabile. In general, a fairly slow bow speed is needed, although a faster bow speed and more pressure are needed during the louder sections, such as the last three bars of the piece. The dynamics range from mp to ff, with several crescendos and decrescendos marked. There is time to prepare for the dynamic changes, which are fairly obvious. Good bow distribution and control are needed on the last two beats of bars 2, 7, and 10, where there are two up-bows in a row. String crossings are frequent and sometimes rapid, changing after one beat or a half beat (e.g., bars 1, 6, and 7). Good bow control is needed on these crossings and the changing bow patterns. The violinist must play with confidence when unaccompanied (bars 1-7). Ensemble sensitivity is needed when the piano accompaniment is added (beginning in bar 8).

Pedagogical Value: This piece is valuable in developing ensemble sensitivity. It provides a good introduction to the Mixolydian mode, and provides opportunities to work on a variety of slurred and detache bowings, and to develop bow control on the string crossings and dynamic changes.

 

DUKE, David

"THE SAD TEDDY BEAR" from A LA JEUNESSE, Book 2

Instrumentation: Violin, piano

Duration: 30"

Publisher: Waterloo Music

Level: Easy

Musical Characteristics: "The Sad Teddy Bear" is waltz-like and expressive in nature. It is marked "very slowly." Metre is 3/4. Rhythmic patterns are simple, consisting of quarter, half, and dotted half notes, with a quarter rest at the end of each of the first three phrases. Form is symmetrical, consisting of four phrases, each four bars in length. Harmonically, it is tonal, but with chromatic alterations in violin and piano parts. The piano accompaniment features frequent use of seventh and ninth chords. The melody contains frequent leaps which provide a chordal outline, and there is occasional step-wise melodic motion.

Technical Challenges: Smooth, expressive tone is important in this composition. Bow distribution is quite consistent. On the recurring linked bowing pattern (half-note followed by a quarter-note), a whole bow should be used, with 2/3 of the bow on the half note, and the remaining third of the bow on the quarter note. Each phrase begins with a down-bow. String crossings are infrequent, and involve adjacent strings since only the A and E strings are used in this piece. String crossings often occur during rests. The finger patterns are simple. Lines 1 and 4 use high second finger, line 2 uses low second finger, while line 3 uses low first and second fingers. The piece is played entirely in first position. The speed of finger changes is slow, with ample time to prepare. The dynamics range from pp to mf, and change infrequently. There are several crescendos marked. The dynamics are subtle in bars 13 to 16, consisting of pp < < mp. Consistent bowing and rhythmic patterns combined with slow finger changes and simple finger patterns simplify co-ordination between left and right hands. The piano part generally maintains a quarter-note pulse, and co-ordination between piano and violin parts is straight-forward.

Pedagogical Value: This composition provides opportunities to work on producing smooth, cantabile tone. It is useful in developing the bow control needed to shape an expressive melodic line. The chromatic alterations and colourful harmonies are useful in aural development.

 

ETHRIDGE, Jean

"HOMAGE TO BARTOK" from A LA JEUNESSE, Book 1

Instrumentation: Violin, piano

Duration: 30"

Publisher: Waterloo Music

Level: Easy

Musical Characteristics: This piece has lively rhythms, and must be played energetically. It is in 4/4 metre and is marked "with vitality." There is a poco rit. marked in bar 11, with an a tempo in the following bar. Otherwise, the tempo is steady. The rhythmic patterns consist of quarter and eighth notes, and quarter rests. Some basic rhythmic patterns recur throughout the piece. The piece is composed in 2-bar phrases, of which there are six altogether. Bars 1 and 2 are repeated almost exactly in bars 9 and 10 of the violin part. The harmony of the violin part is A+, but the piano part is somewhat ambivalent, suggesting both A+ and D+. Added sevenths and ninths create dissonances in the piano part. The energetic folk-like melody, reminiscent of Bartok, moves by step and by small leaps, within a limited melodic range. Melodic fragments are repeated (e.g., bars 3 to 5).

Technical Challenges: This piece is played entirely in first position, with a single finger pattern using high second finger. The speed of finger changes is moderately fast, with no fingered string crossings. Pizzicato is indicated on the last note, which is a 2-note octave chord involving the open D string and third finger on the A string. There is one beat of rest to prepare the change from arco to pizzicato. Quite a bit of force is needed from the right hand on the chord, as it is marked ff. Since it is an octave chord, good intonation is important. Bowing in the composition involves an energetic detache stroke. A moderate bow speed is needed. Bow pressure increases as the dynamics get louder. The dynamic range is p to ff. Dynamics change frequently, with some sudden changes (e.g., bars 6 to 9, mp to f to p). Good co-ordination between left and right hands is needed. The piano part is a mixture of eighth, quarter, and half notes. There is some imitation of the violin part (e.g., bars 3, 4, 7, and 10). The dissonances and the variety of rhythmic patterns in the piano part make ensemble co-ordination challenging, and the ritardando and a tempo in the last bars require ensemble sensitivity.

Pedagogical Value: This piece presents opportunities to work on tempo changes, sudden dynamic changes, and pizzicato. It is useful for developing rhythmic and ensemble skills.

 

ETHRIDGE, Jean

"THE LONELY MERMAID" from A LA JEUNESSE, Book 1

Instrumentation: Violin, piano

Duration: 1'

Publisher: Waterloo Music

Level: Easy

Musical Characteristics: This short piece has a melancholy melody which is legato in style. It is marked "Slowly, with feeling." Metre is 4/4. The rhythmic durations in the violin part range from eighth notes to half notes, with occasional half, quarter, and eighth rests. The final note is tied over the bar line (bars 10-11). The rhythmic patterns are simple, with various recurring rhythmic motifs. The form is AB. A 5-bar phrase comprises section A, and section B consists of a two-and-a-half-bar phrase, followed by a three-and-a-half-bar phrase. There is no key signature, but F# and C# accidentals are present throughout, suggesting the Dorian mode starting on B. The melody consists of step-wise motion on the eighth notes, with leaps of a fourth and fifth occurring on longer rhythmic durations. The piano part features sustained chords in which open fifths predominate. The rhythmic motion in the piano part is slow, with frequent ties over the bar line.

Technical Challenges: This composition is played in first position, with a simple unchanging finger pattern using high second finger. Legato bowing is used throughout, with short slurs in bars 4, 5, 7, and 9. Good bow control and distribution are necessary to produce a smooth, cantabile tone. Long bows are needed on the quarter and dotted quarter notes, with even bow pressure and a fairly slow bow speed. Bars 6 to 8 require more bow pressure and speed to produce a f. The dynamics range from mp to f, with crescendos and decrescendos helping to shape the expressive melodic line. Subtle dynamics present a challenge at times (e.g., bar 1, mp < >, bars 6-8, f >mf). The speed of finger changes is quite slow. Fingered string crossings are infrequent. All string crossings involve adjacent strings, since the entire piece is played on the A and E strings. Co-ordination between left and right hands is straight-forward. Careful counting is needed on the dotted quarter notes in bars 1, 3, 5, and 9. Rhythmic precision is needed in bar 8, where the violin has an off-beat entry. Frequently occurring ties in the piano part make ensemble co-ordination moderately challenging.

Pedagogical Value: This piece presents opportunities to produce a sustained tone and an expressive melodic line. It is also useful for developing rhythmic skills and ensemble sensitivity.

 

ETHRIDGE, Jean

"MORRIS DANCE" from A LA JEUNESSE, Book 1

Instrumentation: Violin, piano

Duration: 20"

Publisher: Waterloo Music

Level: Easy

Musical Characteristics: Marked "With spirit," this piece is described as "a very colourful dance from Olde England." The metre is 4/4 and the tempo is steady throughout. Quarter and half notes are used, as well as quarter, half, and whole rests. The rhythmic patterns are simple, and recur frequently. An accent occurs on the first beat of each bar. The dynamic level in the violin part is f throughout. The piano part has greater dynamic variety (mf and mp). Form is AB. Section A is four bars long, and section B begins with a 2-bar interlude in the piano part, followed by a 4-bar phrase for violin and piano, and a two-bar extension. The key of A+ is used throughout, with some colourful dissonances in the piano part. The lively melody involves conjunct and disjunct motion, with leaps of a third and fourth occurring frequently. The melodic range is narrow (open A to open E). Repetition of melodic motifs occurs in the violin part (e.g., bars 1 and 2 are similar to bars 9 and 10).

Technical Challenges: Detache bowing is used throughout. Accents require extra bow pressure and speed at the beginning of each bar. Good bow control is necessary on the accents. Bow pressure elsewhere is fairly constant, with heavy pressure needed for a boisterous, spirited melody. Bow distribution is fairly consistent, with half notes requiring a whole bow and quarter notes requiring less bow. The bow retake in bar 10 must be well controlled. String crossings are fairly frequent but involve only the A and E strings. The speed of finger changes is moderate. A single finger pattern with high second finger is used. The moderate speed of finger changes and the consistent bowing and finger pattern make co-ordination between left and right hands straight-forward. Violin rests in bars 5, 6, and 10 must be carefully counted. The piano accompaniment provides basic support with half and quarter notes. The piano part in section A is legato, with frequent ties and slurs, while in section B there are some staccato quarter notes in addition to the legato slurred notes. Co-ordination between the violin and piano is straight-forward.

Pedagogical Value: This piece is useful for rhythmic and aural development. It provides valuable experience in producing a strong tone with well controlled accents.

ETHRIDGE, Jean

"THE SUBWAY TRAIN" from A LA JEUNESSE, Book 1

Instrumentation: Violin, piano

Duration: 30"

Publisher: Waterloo Music

Level: Easy

Musical Characteristics: This composition is to be played "With energy." It is programmatic in nature, featuring a gradual increase in dynamics from p to f as the train approaches the station. The repeated sixteenth notes of the violin suggest the train's motion, while the final half note suggests the train's arrival in the station. The metre is 2/4 throughout. The piano moves in non-legato eighth notes with varying patterns of accentuation, perhaps suggesting the lurching of a crowded train. The piece is made up of two very similar phrases. The first phrase is eight bars long, and the second phrase is twelve bars long, with some repeated material in the additional four bars. This piece is in A+, with many dissonant intervals (seconds and sevenths) in the piano part. The violin has many repeated notes, with the pitch changing only once or twice per bar, on the beat. Where pitches change, they move by step or by a perfect fifth between the open A and open E strings.

Technical Challenges: Dynamics must be well controlled as they change from p to mp to mf, with a crescendo leading to the final f. The dynamic changes are not too frequent, occurring every four bars. The speed of finger changes is slow because of the repetition of pitches, and the finger pattern (using high second finger) does not vary. The speed of bow changes is quick, and bow distribution is constant throughout. A short, middle-of-the-bow detache stroke is needed, with the exception of a long, slow bow on the half note at the end. Although a short bow stroke is used throughout, more bow and pressure are needed on the sixteenth notes as the dynamics increase. Right wrist must remain flexible to avoid tension on the bow changes. Good bow control is need on the string crossings between the A and E strings. Co-ordination between left and right hands is needed where left hand finger changes occur.

Pedagogical Value: This piece is an excellent study in dynamics and in short detache strokes. It provides opportunities to develop bow control and to co-ordinate left and right hands. It is also useful for rhythmic and aural development.

 

FLEMING, Robert

"SOMETHING FOR MARGARET" from Royal Conservatory of Music Grades I and II Violin Examinations

Instrumentation: Violin, piano

Duration: 1'20"

Publisher: Frederick Harris

Level: Easy

Musical Characteristics: This piece has a very gentle, rocking feeling to it, and is to be played "Like a lullaby." The rhythm is very simple, using half notes, quarter notes, and some dotted half notes. The metre is 4/4 with a quarter note = 112. There is a ritard in the final two bars. There is some simple syncopation in the violin part, but the accompaniment keeps a steady pulse. The piano part gives a rocking effect to the piece. The melody moves by step and by small leaps, the largest leap being a perfect fifth, with time to prepare. The tonality is G+ throughout, and the form is a simple ABAB, with a four-bar piano introduction. The opening A section is an eight-bar phrase. Section B is a nine-bar phrase. Section A returns as an eight-bar phrase, and the piece finishes with an eight-bar phrase.

Technical Challenges: Proper distribution of the bow is one of the main challenges. Several phrases begin with an up-bow pick-up, requiring good bow control. The slurs and tied notes must also be well controlled. Cantabile tone and sustained phrases are needed. The dynamic markings are straight-forward, ranging from p to mf, with two short <>. There is time to prepare for the dynamic changes. The piece is written in first position, and uses the fourth finger of the left hand, with easy fingering patterns using high second finger on the D string, and low second finger on the A string. String crossings are infrequent and involve only the D and A strings. Counting the correct number of bars for rests presents a challenge in co-ordinating the violin and piano parts.

Pedagogical Value: The emphasis in the piece is on good bow distribution and control. There is an emphasis on smooth slurs and bow changes, and on long, smooth phrasing to express the cantabile style. The piece provides opportunities to practise dotted rhythms and syncopation, and varying dynamics. Counting and co-ordination with the accompaniment are stressed as well.

 

KYMLICKA, Milan

"Dance I" from TWO DANCES FOR VIOLIN AND PIANO

Instrumentation: Violin, piano

Duration: 1'15"

Publisher: Cantus Publishing Co.

Level: Medium easy

Musical Characteristics: This dance is marked Tempo Menuetto (quarter = 160). The metre is mainly 3/4, but there are occasional changes to 2/4 for a single bar. A basic quarter note pulse is maintained throughout. Rhythmic values consist of sixteenth notes to dotted half notes, and rhythmic patterns are relatively straight-forward. Accents occur infrequently. The form is ABA. Section A lasts for 24 bars. A double bar line indicates the beginning of section B, which lasts for 19 bars, with a ritardando marked in the last bar. Another double bar line and an a tempo marking indicate the return of section A at bar 44. It is identical to the first occurrence of section A. Melodically, there is a mixture of conjunct and disjunct motion. There are occasional octave leaps, with time to prepare.

Technical Challenges: This dance is playable entirely in first position. A simple finger pattern with low second finger is used in section A. Low first finger is used in section B. The bowing is a mixture of detache and slurred strokes, with slurs extending over no more than three beats. Several different articulations are used. The marking of a line and a dot over a note is fairly common (e.g., bars 3 and 8). These notes are played on the string, with a fairly heavy bow pressure. Bars 37 and 38 have portato markings over the notes; they are to be played slightly separated. Ties complicate bowing and counting (e.g., bars 31 and 32, bar 43), and contribute to a syncopated feeling. The speed of finger changes is fairly quick, with little time to prepare, especially on the eighth and sixteenth notes. There is variety in bow distribution. In the first two bars, lots of bow is needed for a legato sound at a mf dynamic level. On the detached notes, less bow is needed. Bars 37 and 38, where there are p 2-note chords, also require less bow and pressure. The chords involve one open string and one fingered note. Time is given to prepare the chords, and good bow control is needed to attain the p dynamic level. Dynamics in this composition are marked relatively infrequently, and range from p to f. There are some subtle changes (e.g., bars 39 to 44, mf < f). Crescendos are marked occasionally. String crossings are fairly frequent, and require good bow control due to the quick tempo. The string crossings involve adjacent strings, with the exception of bars 19 and 20, where there is a leap from the D to the E string; time is available to prepare. The quick bow crossings and finger changes are challenging to co-ordinate. Bars 16 and 17 are tricky because there are several fingered string crossings; bow control is also challenging here. The piano part aids in maintaining a quarter note pulse on the metre changes. There is occasional sixteenth note movement in the piano part. Ensemble co-ordination is ore difficult during the sixteenth note passages, and also at bar 18, where an eighth note passage occurs in both parts.

Pedagogical Value: There are opportunities to improve finger dexterity, bow articulation, and tone control. Changing metre within the piece requires careful counting, as do the tricky rhythms, and syncopations due to ties. The piece also provides an opportunity to work on 2-note chords. This dance is also valuable for developing co-ordination between left and right hands.

Go back to Document List