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Learn More About String Quartets and String Quartet Music

Are you curious to learn more about string quartets and string quartet music? The Sparrow Lane String Quartet has created this article to help our visitors learn the basic language of a string quartet as well as some essential music for string quartets.

What is a String Quartet?

Essentially, a string quartet is a combination of four stringed instruments playing together. However, string quartets traditionally consist of two violins, one viola and a cello. For more variety, string quartets can also consist of ensembles of guitarists, harpists, bassists or even a mandolin player. The combinations and variety which can be achieved through string quartet ensembles is unlimited and the addition of other musical instruments can make the performance of a string quartet even more special.

For example, a piano could be added to a string quartet for a piano quintet. A fifth string instrument aside could be added, ranging from an additional violin to a bass and beyond, making it a string quintet. Alternatively, if you remove one instrument from the quartet, it would become a string trio. The Sparrow Lane String Quartet is available in the classic quartet combination or with any addition or subtraction of various instruments.

Some History About String Quartets

String quartets became popular in the 1700′s when composers such as Haydn began writing compositions for them. In fact, Haydn is known as the father of string quartets because his Opus 9 Quartet became the standard format for string quartets.

Popular Composers for String Quartets

Many, many composers have written compositions for string quartets. Here is a brief list of some famous classical composers who have written string quartet music:

  • Bach
  • Clarke
  • Handel
  • Mozart
  • Pachelbel
  • Schubert

Popular Songs for String Quartets

There are many timeless, beautiful and breathtaking songs which can be played by a string quartet; their versatility is one reason they are a popular choice for special events. From classical favorites like Pachelbel’s “Canon in D Major” to all-time pop favorites like the Beatles “All You Need is Love”, string quartets’ capabilities are virtually unlimited. This is what makes string quartets such a popular choice for weddings and corporate events, also. Below is a list of just a few songs string quartets can play:

Classical Songs for String Quartets

  • “Spring” – Vivaldi
  • “Pavane” – Faure
  • “Intermezzo” – Mascagni
  • “Arrival of the Queen of Sheba” – Handel
  • “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik” – Mozart
  • “Divertimento I in D Major” – Mozart
  • “Divertimento II in Bb Major” – Mozart
  • “Divertimento III in F Major” – Mozart

Wedding Songs for String Quartets

  • “Bourre” – Bach
  • Gavotte” from Suite 3 – Bach
  • “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desire” – Bach
  • “Trumpet Voluntary (The Prince of Denmark March)” – Clarke
  • “Air” from The Water Music Suite - Handel
  • “Hornpipe” from The Water Music Suite – Handel
  • “Romanza” – Mozart
  • “Pachelbel’s Canon (Canon in D Major)” – Pachelbel
  • “Andante” – Schubert
  • “Bridal Chorus” – Wagner
  • “Trumpet Tune” – Purcell
  • “Wedding March” – Wagner
  • “Largo” – Handel
  • “Wedding March” – Mendelssohn
  • “Cantabile” – Tartini
  • “Traumerai” – Schumann

Pop Songs for String Quartets

  • “Fields of Gold” – Sting
  • “God Only Knows” – The Beach Boys
  • “Lovecats” – The Cure
  • “It Must be Love” – Madness
  • “Bittersweet Symphony” – The Verve
  • “Everlong” – The Foo Fighters
  • “Your Song” – Elton John
  • “Here Comes the Sun” – The Beatles
  • “When I’m 64″ – The Beatles
  • “All You Need is Love” – The Beatles
  • “Eleanore Rigby” – The Beatles
  • “Imagine” – John Lennon
  • “Yellow” – Coldplay
  • “Champagne Supernova” – Oasis

R&B / Jazz / Swing / Dance for String Quartets

  • “At Last” – Etta James
  • “Somewhere Beyond the Sea” – Bobby Darin
  • “The Way You Look Tonight” – Frank Sinatra
  • “New York, New York” – Frank Sinatra
  • “That’s Amore” – Dean Martin
  • “Moon River”
  • “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”
  • “My Funny Valentine”

With string quartets, musical choices are only limited by your imagination!

If you’re interested in listening to string quartet songs
the ones on this list, visit our music samples page!

Why Are String Quartets So Popular
For Events Like Weddings?

String Quartets are popular for weddings and other special events because of their compact size but impressive quality of music. Their small instrumentation is loud enough to be enjoyed but quiet enough to permit conversation. Furthermore, string quartets can play at virtually any event, indoors or outdoors. They are so versatile, they can play anything from a beach wedding ceremony or a garden wedding ceremony to a large church wedding ceremony or a huge banquet hall. Finally, their music is sophisticated enough for it to be enjoyed at any formal event.

With just this small amount of information, you can now see why string quartets are the premiere choice for special events like parties, weddings, receptions and other get-togethers which require fantastic music.

If you’re interested in booking the Sparrow Lane
String Quartet
for your event, visit our Booking page!

( Posted on Monday, July 14, 2008 at 3:10 pm )

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“The Sora Nova Band was everything you said it would be. They were patient, understanding, professional and provided a layer of musical magic throughout my son's wedding. On Thursday night I felt as if I was living inside a movie film production set. The duo took full advantage of the location's intimate setting pond front to weave a fabric of romance and mystique into a night for all to remember, they created a lifetime memory to cherish. Friday night both gentleman created a sense of calm not missing a beat or single note in the face of potential danger with a huge tree falling onto a part of the deck not too far from where they were set up. Everyone agreed that the music played was awesome and made the entire wedding a very special event for all. Thanks to you both.”

—Steven T, September 2010, Wedding, Calimigos Ranch

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