Needing suggestions of violin music with a horse theme!

March 13, 2012 at 08:19 PM · I have a new student who is 18 years old. She has a passion for horses and I'd like to try and connect her passion for horses to her violin playing. She is very capable and has recently played The Accolay Concerto in A minor, which was a touch too easy for her. Can anyone suggest any piece at that kind of standard ( or lower) that has a connection to horses at all? Or- a composer who loved horses, or anything else that may have relevance to horses?! Thank you.

Replies (35)

March 13, 2012 at 09:21 PM · Once you get through the gorgeous cello solo, the William Tell Overture has the theme that was used for the "Lone Ranger," radio show, TV program, etc. when he was riding in on his horse Silver.

Then there's the Light Cavalry Overture. Cavalry is all about horses - with men on them (until it became about tanks, after WWI.


March 13, 2012 at 09:43 PM · The first thing that comes to mind is Lady Anne Blunt. She was a violinist born in 1837, and she was also the woman who (basically) saved the Arabian horse. Her Strad recently sold for about $15 million... There's a book that came out about her a few years ago but I haven't read it.

March 13, 2012 at 10:01 PM · There is a Kreisler tune after Cartier?? that is a hunting tune with the horn effects. It's probably on the hard side.

March 13, 2012 at 10:16 PM ·

March 13, 2012 at 10:46 PM · I toured with the royal lippizan stallions when I was younger. The whole show has amazing classical music that is well known. I can't remember the names of the songs but they might be found on the web site arena productions lipizzan show. The main composers name started with an s.

March 14, 2012 at 12:30 AM ·

hi ho silver

March 14, 2012 at 01:20 AM · Hi,

I also have these two passions as my strongests of all...

In the pop music there is the tear bringing (for those who saw the movie!) beautiful Black Beauty theme... (I have the piano part and it's quite easy to play the melodic line for the violin...)

I also love Spirit's music

and Secretariat's movie theme

I don't know of music parts for these 2 peices though I made an arrangment for Secretariat's theme for violin and piano if ever you want it (Though I'm no pro, I followed a bit of harmony lessons and do these for fun.)

I don't know of more complex peices.

Maybe they are some ballets composed for horses in the schools as in Vienna? I'm not sure of that though.

Good luck!

John, if accidents can always happen with any animal and even pets, I have met tons of amazing and very quiet horses. Hope that individual didn't make you think that all horses are that way! (Still not saying to not play safety just in case)

March 14, 2012 at 03:42 AM · She should love her bow, at least...

March 14, 2012 at 05:38 AM · something like this?

March 14, 2012 at 06:29 AM · hoarse theme-by Tchaicoughski



March 14, 2012 at 10:53 AM · Thanks everyone for these great responses so far and the laughs I got from the funny ones !!! I am extremely grateful and will follow up on them - especially the ones that will lead me to violin solos. I am off to follow these links- thanks so much!

March 14, 2012 at 11:03 AM · Hi Michael (Baer)- I just downloaded and printed the William Tell music- thanks for the tip! ( it was even free!!)If I get her to do it with ricochet bowing and fast, and also extend the arrangement by adding that first violin semiquaver passage that happens in the middle, she can do it as excerpt practise as well as for fun :) Thanks so much!

March 14, 2012 at 11:05 AM · Ann-Marie- I'd love your arrangement of Secretariat's theme if there is a way to get it to me- thank you so much for the offer!

March 14, 2012 at 12:05 PM · I have just been having fun browsing all of your ideas and printing things out. I’ll get the violin 1 part for The Light Cav. Overture- thanks so much Andrew. The “Men Doing Dressage” was hilarious Sharelle and I know that March. I also found the music for the title theme from Black Beauty Anne-Marie- also free to print. I found an extract about, and photo of Lady Anne Blunt- thanks Emily- I had never heard of her actually. John, The Horse of the Year music I found as a free score as well, so have downloaded that and might see if the violin 1 part stands alone for her to learn. Julie- I looked for music from the Lipizzan Show but haven’t had any luck yet, but will persevere as the site looks great. I also found the Kreisler piece Corwin- La Chasse. That does sound hard but would give her a long term project which would be excellent. We could do just the top line to start with to get the bowing and then add the double stops later. Stephen- Hoarse Theme- lol!! Keep the ideas coming- I am so glad I thought to post this question here ?

March 14, 2012 at 01:35 PM · There is also Copland's "The Red Pony."

The original is quite challenging, but here is a video of excerpts being played by a Youth Orchestra, so there must also be student arrangements available:

March 14, 2012 at 02:18 PM · First horse music that comes to my mind is the theme song to Mr Ed. Wouldn't be difficult, and certainly recognizeable to any of the "baby boomers".....

March 14, 2012 at 02:49 PM · Do a Google search for Galop, violin, piano. It is a dance rhythm based on a horses gallop. I found this and I am sure there is much more

March 14, 2012 at 04:03 PM · There's an interesting piece out by

Whinny Withers Equis called "Post Time at Santa Anita" that might work. Hate to saddle someone with that music, but you can rein your student in a bit.

March 14, 2012 at 04:20 PM · There is Telemann's Don Quixote Suite in which his horse Rosinante is depicted in music. But there may be some nay sayers who might argue that this horse is imaginary.

March 14, 2012 at 05:18 PM · America - Horse With No Name

March 14, 2012 at 09:55 PM · Vivaldi autumn 3rd mov is hunting on horse back

March 14, 2012 at 10:06 PM · Grofe Grand Canyon suite? lol

March 15, 2012 at 03:40 AM · The Horse

March 15, 2012 at 04:22 AM · I'm not a violinist, my daughter is. I'm the driver and we spend a lot of time in the car listening to music. I am a horse person. Schubert's String Quartet # 14 (Death and the Maiden) 2nd movement has a great part that sounds like a cantering, galloping and jumping horse. When I listen to it I can always picture going cross country when eventing. Of course it's a quartet, not a solo piece.

March 15, 2012 at 11:54 AM · Thanks again everyone- I will follow these things up in the next couple of days .. Some great ideas there!! I love that song "A Horse with No Name" but can't imagine it for solo violin, but it sure would entertain me!I think unfortunately it might be lost on an 18 y.o. though!?

March 15, 2012 at 03:02 PM · John's post reminds me of this fantastic Victorian sound effects book on IMSLP. It's called the Wizard Violinist: A Collection of Effective and Easy Tricks Humorous Imitations Etc. For Social and Popular Entertainments. I swear I'm not making this up. I've never played any of them, so I don't know how they sound, but really somebody has to because they sound hilarious. There's such gems as "Imitation of the Braying of An Ass", "The Ploughboy's Dream (Imitations of Animals And Birds)", and "The Approach, Passing By, and Gradual Disappearance of A Stage Coach." Probably not appropriate for your student, but I thought I'd throw it out there for anyone else interested...

March 15, 2012 at 04:27 PM · You can make a viola sound like a cow mooing. While playing on the C string untighten and tighten the C peg. If you are a violist, you can ask a violinist which peg is the C peg.

March 15, 2012 at 06:41 PM · which the violinist will reply, "There is no C peg."

March 15, 2012 at 07:41 PM · Somebody should give you a good neigh ...

What about the saw bum concerto ???

You could hedge your bets ... or play side saddle ...

(Sorry it's getting worse, but I've been given a free reign ...)

March 16, 2012 at 02:13 AM · Rein it in Peter...

March 16, 2012 at 11:02 AM · Not sure if anyone mentioned the presto movement from Beethoven's violin sonata no. 9? Definitely sounds like some major galloping going on. Here's Oistrakh/Oborin:

March 16, 2012 at 07:45 PM · I usually learn those pieces on the hoof, and then get them up to a full gallop. But sometimes I get saddled with a piece I don't like ... and I sometimes get the bit between my tooth.

March 16, 2012 at 07:57 PM · Hi, in the same line as what Christopher suggested but perhaps the trotting or mild cantering version!

Also, the beginning of the Brahms Scherzo sounds so much like a horse (but a grumpy horse who fights, kicks and doesn't want to get to work immidiately...only in the middle part that the horse settles down lol)

Many good versions of this on youtube, Suk, Oistrakh, Kavakos etc...

And, Hilary, for the arrangment, I just need your email. We can send messages here but not with attachments I don't think.

John, I know a horse could bite a finger if you're not paying attention but with a flat hand and the food only in your palm (no fingers first), it never happened. Most horses used to people are used to beeing fed. A carrot is even less risky than an apple. But it's very possible to not get hurt with an apple too. I even hand fed Bisons in a zoo where we could feed animals. All you see in the car window si a huge mouth with enormous teeth, big nostrils and warm breath. Very impressing (big as a few horses mouths together). They were so calm that I was not afraid to hand feed them (as with every animal, flat hands and no fingers in their mouths!)

March 19, 2012 at 06:16 PM · Correct me if I am wrong but isn't Erlking a poem about a father attempting to save his son from Death by riding away on horseback (figuratively)?

The Ernst transcription for violin solo is at the very peak of violin virtuosity but it is a wild ride.

March 20, 2012 at 06:24 PM · Yes...but it still has a horse in it...;)

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