THE AIR WE BREATHE
For String Quartet, with Optional Piano part
Running time: 1 min 45
What you will receive....
Your download will contain a PDF of the score and parts and two MP3 audio files: a full live performance of the piece and a recording of the piano part which can be used to aid rehearsal and also be used as a backing track for a performance.
See our How it Works page for more information.
About the Piece
For me, one of the most difficult things I dealt with as a string player was feeling relaxed enough physically and emotionally to be able to play freely. I always wish that someone had taught me how to relax while playing my instrument when I was a beginner.
I decided to write a piece of music that highlighted this idea, that of learning how to breathe while playing, therefore staying relaxed and open. The piece is based on a very simple premise, that of breathing in on the up bow, and breathing out with the down bow, naturally creating crescendos and decrescendos with every bow, thus giving the music a feeling of movement, as opposed to feeling static and tense.
The music always has a pulse, and suspensions resolve along with the players' breath, creating a natural feeling of the flow of the music. It surely can never be too early to learn this and I believe that these ideas could be the first steps to learning about musical phrasing.
I rated this simple and uncomplicated piece as being easy. It is written only in crotchets, minims and semi-breves. It is in D major and a feature is the D major scale, up and down. Occasionally there is the odd 4th finger. At one point the 2nd violin has 4th finger on the G string. The player could play with an open D but the following note is a C#, so a 4th would be better. Therefore I would say that this piece is more suited to players of Grade 3 standard rather than total beginners.
There is an optional accompanying piano part which would help if players are missing or finding it difficult. There is a recording of the piano part that can be used as a backing track. It has a two bar intro intro to help everyone come in together. If the group is playing without the piano accompaniment then obviously there is no need for the introduction.
The recording of the whole piece doesn’t have the piano part with it, it is simply the string quartet recording.