Duet ideas requested

September 4, 2012 at 05:42 PM · Two students, they love to play together, though they are at slightly different levels. They are going to have their lessons back-to-back so we can do some duets, and I'd like to design a program for them that is both fun and forward-moving, technically and musically.

Ideas for duets that are both challenging and clever? (Both have gone through the Doflein Books, so they've already done a lot of Bartok...)

Replies (25)

September 4, 2012 at 06:00 PM · My duet partner (Book 6) and I (Book 5) enjoy these two duet collections very much:

de Bériot Op.87

Mazas Op.38

There are also the Telemann Canons.

Then of course, there is the entire Bach Double Concerto.

If they want to branch out from Classical music, Ragtime Solos And Duets: 20 Scott Joplin Favorites are very enjoyable too.

September 4, 2012 at 06:06 PM · I've always liked the Shostakovich Duets with piano. The first two movements in the video are from a 3 movement work, Prelude, Gavotte, and Waltz, as performed by these terrific gals(warning: bad audio), but the first video seems to omit the waltz and include other duets I've never heard before. There are also a couple of nice Trio Sonatas by Tartini.

September 4, 2012 at 06:19 PM · There are many beautiful french duets by Boismortier, Hotetterre, de la Barre and Corrette in an edition by Schotts, don't know if it's still in print, (Edition Schott 2207) with another two collections advertised, (2210 and 5272)

If you like folk easy read stuff, then the 'Airs for Pairs' is fun, (Dragonfly Music).

The Telemann Canonic Sonatas are also worth a go!

Have fun!!

September 5, 2012 at 05:37 AM · Do you have some of Michael MacLean's stuff? I really like his arrangement of Villoldo's "el Chocolo" and Faure's "Sicilianno".

September 5, 2012 at 10:01 AM · Joyce,

Thanks for the links. I'm going to try them with my son. I use duets to give him a daily dose of note reading.

September 5, 2012 at 11:46 AM · I also do sight-reading with my daughter using duets. We started with Pleyel!

Aren't there some Mozart duets too, and three opuses of Viotti.

September 5, 2012 at 01:01 PM · The upper books of Applebaum Beautiful Music could be fun for them to play.

September 5, 2012 at 02:16 PM · Rupert, I think those duets are out of print. There are also some very nice Leclair duets in the second volume , a little easier than the Leclair duets on IMSLP ( those are very beautiful too)

Laurie, your students might love the well known flower duet (sous le dome epais) from the opera Lakme by Delibes


September 5, 2012 at 03:08 PM · Don't forget the Leclair duos.

September 5, 2012 at 04:49 PM · google 'free music scores - violin duets' and you have a whole bunch. they are pretty easy but a good place to start....

September 7, 2012 at 04:16 AM · I think they would love that Flower Duet -- without the sharps! Maybe there is a violin arrangement, I will look.

These are great ideas, thanks everyone!

September 7, 2012 at 04:17 AM · Actually never mind, those sharps aren't so bad, good idea!

September 7, 2012 at 04:25 AM · Emily, I have quite a lot of Michael's arrangements, but not those, I'll check them out!

September 17, 2012 at 04:19 AM · There are some flute duets that are very accessible for violins .

Here an imslp address for Devienne duets:


Laurie I e-mailed you the score of a little duet - a tango- from a flute site. Can't find the url for this one any more.

September 17, 2012 at 08:55 PM · I'd recommend Bruni, 6 "duettini" opus 34. They are supposed to be easy, but to make them sound really fluent and easy is not easy at all! I find them a great exercise to play together really cleanly. I still have fond memories of playing them with my old teacher. The scores are on IMSLP.

September 18, 2012 at 12:27 AM · I've been playing through the Mazas and de Beriot recommended by Joyce above and they are great -- not too difficult, and they sound really nice. My son likes them too.

September 19, 2012 at 12:00 AM · Plenty of Mazas available free


I also remember enjoying some by Kalliwoda - also available on IMSLP

September 20, 2012 at 05:58 PM · If you like double stops, try Etude #4 by Claude Torrent.


It's a good exercise, and sounds beautiful when you nail it.

October 5, 2012 at 03:42 PM · Are these duets (recommended by Joyce):

de Bériot Op.87

Mazas Op.38

available in/from London?

October 5, 2012 at 05:40 PM · Charlie, I'll have to check out those double-stop duets! Might be good exercise for them....Thanks for your great suggestions, everyone!

October 7, 2012 at 11:32 PM · My teacher uses Michael McLean's "Care to Tango?" volume 2 for our group lessons (book 4 and above). We are playing Faure's "Sicilienne" - love it! The whole collection is very nice.

Thessa, they are available on IMSLP (i.e. public domain). You can download and print them out - links are provided in my post above.

October 9, 2012 at 02:21 AM · Have they done the Mozart "Table Music"? Fun piece, but may be below technical level. However it allows you the opportunity to really focus on making beautiful music together!


October 19, 2012 at 09:59 AM · These are all fabulous ideas. Great way to find new rep - just ask a question on this forum:) I know you said they have done a lot of Bartok. Are you familiar with the 44 duos?

I use Bartok's duets with my students. They are great to improve notereading skills as well. There are two volumes. The first three in volume 2 are great - Limping Dance, Sorrow and Teasing Song

44 Duets - Volume I (No. 1-25)

look inside

44 Duets - Volume I (No. 1-25)

(for two violins). By Bela Bartok (1881-1945). For violin duet (Violin). Boosey & Hawkes Chamber Music. 20th Century and Hungarian. Difficulty: medium. Instrumental duet book. Standard notation. 22 pages. Boosey & Hawkes #M051350780. Published by Boosey & Hawkes (HL.48002993)



...more info

44 Duets - Volume II (No. 26-44)

look inside

44 Duets - Volume II (No. 26-44)

(for two violins). By Bela Bartok (1881-1945). For violin duet (Violin). Boosey & Hawkes Chamber Music. 20th Century and Hungarian. Difficulty: medium to medium-difficult. Instrumental duet book. Standard notation. 51 pages. Boosey & Hawkes #M051350797. Published by Boosey & Hawkes (HL.48002994)



...more info

Also Last Resort Music has exceptional arrangements for two violins.


There is always the Vivaldi a minor duet for two violins all movements and the bach Double lesser played second and third movements.

Telleman, Mozart, Pleyel and Mazas are all great as well.

Happy Practicing!!!

Heather Broadbent



October 19, 2012 at 01:32 PM · Bach Inventions? Here's one source of an arrangement:


October 22, 2012 at 02:34 PM · Telemann's flute duet sonatas (not the canonic ones) will require neat position work.

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