Looking for (mostly) first position pieces in key of E and C# minor
Hello, I am a beginner so please keep that in mind. I recently elected to proceed through my neglected copy of Maia Bang’s violin method book 1. At the end of the volume it introduces the key of E and C# minor. Unfortunately there were not enough pieces in the book for me to get my fingers familiar with the key. Playing the same 3-4 tunes loses its educational value after a while in my experience. I like to test my skills on new material - especially sight reading.
I am one of the “weird” student violinists who likes to play etudes so I figured my Wohlfahrt Op 45 vol 1/2 would have material to play. I was surprised that there was nothing there in E or C#. The Maia Bang vol II went on to the key of F leaving me adrift. I seems like this key gets the orphan treatment for beginners repertoire. Is there a reason for this? Perhaps it is best suited for higher positions that I’m not ready for.
So my question/desire from this community is suggestions suitable for a beginner in the key of E and C# minor. Gems from IMSLP would be ideal but I’ll take any suggestions. I am especially looking for melodious pieces, slow material like waltzes would be ideal. I don’t need scales - i have those in my copy of Hrimaly. All help is appreciated.
Sounds like a silly quest. Just play whatever pushes your technique forward—not what's in a certain key...
Cotton, a beginner thanks you for such a thoughtful reply. I thought practice in unfamiliar keys was a way to push my technique forward. Silly me....
If you need more practice from a music theory perspective (ie remembering which notes to play sharp) then it is probably useful to play more tunes in these keys. But if you just want to improve, I would play lots of E/c# scales and arpeggios and not worry so much about finding pieces.
Waltzes and slow airs aren't likely to be in E major, but you could transpose what you're already playing into E major fairly easily with scoring software. But I do sort of agree with Cotton- I'm not sure how useful an endeavor it is. The E major finger pattern is exactly the same as the A major finger pattern in first position.
Susan - Thank you, great suggestion! I was unfamiliar with the series. The introduction says it was written for students who want material to practice by key - it looks like what I am after. All duets which is a slight negative. Cost is quite reasonable.
My best guess is, superficially yes E and C#m are related, but perhaps not so very much on the violin, not for a beginner anyway - in the C# harmonic minor scale there are some technical difficulties that a beginner needn't worry about, unless maybe you just stick to the A and E strings.
This is kind of an advanced thing, and it takes some music theory knowledge, but I believe everyone should know how to transpose on the spot. That is, to look at a piece, in let's say, Eb major, and be able to read it in Eb while playing it in a different key, let's say B major.
I can't think of pieces, but may I make suggestions for scales.
James like Nina said, you can take any piece with 3 flats, do you have enough of those? Then play everything up a half tone. Just don't use the open string for D :-)
Nina - transposing on the fly is way over my pay grade for the moment and possibly forever. I agree on its value.
Check out those etudes in E major
yup James. forgot to add...the open G string is gone as well but I suppose you got that already! on the other hand you gain the open A and E strings :-)
Jean - huh, I thought F minor was rarer than A flat...
The Bach E Major Gigue from the Third Partita meets your qualifications, pretty close anyway. Not exactly beginner material but you could take it very slow and pretend it's a Wohlfardt study.
Haydn Quartet Op. 20 No. 5 is in F Minor. Fantastic piece. Fairly hard, partly because of the key.
WIinter is also in F minor, but I can think of a lot more pieces in Ab.