'Have' to perform a short piece at school event

April 26, 2016 at 02:37 AM · A friend and I "have" to perform a short piece at a school event, and the audience won't be very receptive to classical music, let's say. Does anyone have any suggestions for a 2-violin or violin/viola duet that would appeal to a crowd of teens (pop or otherwise), and that has free sheet music available?


Replies (22)

April 26, 2016 at 06:47 AM · Canon duet. Everybody knows and loves it (except one guy). Sheet music and performances on YouTube.



April 26, 2016 at 06:52 AM · Is it a dance? If not, then you might consider including some classical music. It is often said that the public doesn't know classical well enough and the only way to remedy that is to have them hear it. Try to have a little variety from different eras if time allows. The bottom line is that it is incredibly bigoted to say that a certain age group is not capable of receiving an entire wildly diverse genre, and shows just how age-segregated the world has become since industrialization. I have shared classical music through with all different age groups (having no experience! ) and can say more have enjoyed it than not.

April 26, 2016 at 07:18 AM · Lieschen, perhaps Stuarts intent is for everyone to enjoy it, not just a majority. Having 49% bored is not exactly a success, especially since they would become disruptive to the rest. Its a little high and mighty to imply that classical music is superior and people should either like it or be forced to endure it. As far as im aware there's nothing inherently inferior about pop jazz blues soul funk rap or anything else. Why not play what the audience will appreciate and enjoy instead of trying to offer them a cultural education.


"it is incredibly bigoted to say that a certain age group is not capable of receiving an entire wildly diverse genre"

calling the OP bigoted for something he never said? Read the text. 'Won't be very receptive' is not the same as 'not capable of receiving'

April 26, 2016 at 11:01 AM · There are a few coldplay pieces that have been arranged for strins - hate the band but the pieces work well and are fun. They would work as a duet. Not sure about the free sheet music, but it migh be relatively cheap, via online music publishers. Ypu could always do your own arrangement.

April 26, 2016 at 02:16 PM · "Ashokan Farewell". Everyone loves this tune. Send me an email if you cannot find the parts. I am not that hard to find on the net.

April 26, 2016 at 02:21 PM · @k d: I am not saying that classical music is superior, only that it is a bit underappreciated in comparison to other genres. Not everyone likes other genres either. You can't please everyone and musicians should simply prepare to the best of their ability and not worry about if every person will like their performance or music choice, because that is impossible to achieve. Not everyone likes Heifetz. Not everyone likes One Direction. Nor does everyone like Miles Davis. What are the stakes here? Is it for a Kim Jong Un ceremony? Will the OP be in the year book hall of shame for worst music selection?

And yes, either way you put it, whether it is taken literally as " won't be receptive " or cannot be receptive, there is bigotry involved. Here is an exercise: Replace the word " teens " with " blacks/ whites / latinos / any ethnic group of your choice ". Then reread the entire post imagining the new word choice and how that would make you feel.

April 26, 2016 at 02:46 PM · Can we be done with that discussion?

The OP specifically asked for something other than classical.

April 26, 2016 at 03:03 PM · Yes, that would be appreciated! I know the people at my school and although there are a few other classical buffs, most people "wouldn't trust me with the aux cord". ;)

Ashokan Farewell is definitely an option. It would be nice to have something upbeat to complement it though, or just a longer piece.

Thank you for the suggestions so far!

April 26, 2016 at 07:21 PM · Another vote for Ashokan Farewell.

April 26, 2016 at 07:21 PM ·

April 26, 2016 at 10:28 PM · Orange blossom special.

April 26, 2016 at 10:35 PM · just want to point out that canon, while classical, is also the basic tune of dozens of pop songs so it will be familiar.

Have a look at this 'Pachelbel Rant' if you haven't seen it yet


April 27, 2016 at 03:42 AM · Here are some non-classical groups involving violin and viola that are pretty good. Perhaps you can see what you can find that is feasible for your ensemble size. I have included a broad range and I can make no guarantee about its popularity with any age group, but I will let you judge that. Below are ( not in any particular order ): Time for Three, Jihad Akl, Stéphane Grapelli, and EinsHoch6.





April 27, 2016 at 11:55 AM · I think the best way to balance out Ashokan Farewell would be some kind of jangly fiddle tune like "Liberty" or "Old Joe Clark." Sharelle mentioned "Orange Blossom Special," and obviously that's a great tune, but also pretty hard. Something where you could do a little improv (even if you mostly prepare your licks in advance) would be fun. One problem with fiddle music is that often the duet arrangements that you can find for sale are for one violinist and one VSO (violinist-shaped object). So you'll have to do a little hunting.

April 27, 2016 at 10:59 PM · Somewhere, there must be a viola part to Czardas. But even so, playing 2 violins on the same part would be fine and fun.

April 28, 2016 at 12:31 AM · hmmm...

What about a crossover piece? Something with a piece of iconic classical music, and something that isn't.

here is a good example


April 29, 2016 at 12:16 AM · Do a search on Shar, Latham music, or 8notes.com. I know Lathan has a lot of ensemble music in a wide variety of styles. I don't know how much 8notes has, but they have an excellent search engine that

will allow you to easily sort by instrumentation and genre, and it's free. Shar should have some stuff too but I hate their current search engine, at least on mobile.

April 29, 2016 at 10:00 AM · You could also check virtualsheetmusic.com

April 29, 2016 at 07:26 PM · While probably not free, another option to try is jwpepper.com

maybe movie themes would do the trick ?

April 29, 2016 at 10:45 PM · bring on the Pirates of the Caribbean theme!

April 30, 2016 at 05:43 PM · Well, irish songs tend to work just fine where i am from (not Ireland btw).

Try, for example: washer woman

May 1, 2016 at 02:51 AM · Teens... think Star Wars, Lord of the Ring etc. any popular movie theme perhaps? You should be able to find good examples on YouTube.

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