THE MAJESTIC MOUNTAINS
An Ensemble Piece for Two Violins, Viola, Cello, Optional Cello2/Double Bass, Snare Drum and Piano
Running time: 2 mins 20
“I hiked to the top of a mountain and sat on the summit looking out over the majestic mountains. I decided to write a piece of easy string music that could capture the epic nature of these ancient hills.”
What you will receive....
Your download will containa PDF of the score and parts, an MP3 audio file of the piece and a further MP3 audio file of the piano part which can be used as a rehearsal aid.
See our 'How it Works' page for more information.
About the piece
Last summer I hiked to the top of a mountain in the Lake District with my family. When we reached the top, we sat for a while, eating our lunch, looking around at the fabulous views of the majestic hills all around us.
That moment has inspired me to write a piece of easy string music that could perhaps capture something of the epic nature of these ancient mountains. I decided to give it a Scottish theme, a nod to the fells and mountain ranges of the highlands of Scotland.
‘Majestic Mountains’ is an ideal piece for a full string ensemble. It features two ‘folky’ melodies that fit together melodically and rhythmically. They are initially accompanied by a drone, first in the piano and then in the lower strings. Alongside the piano part is a snare drum that helps to beat time and that gives the music a Scottish marching band flavour.
There are two optional parts: one for a Cello 2 and one for a Double Bass. These two parts are the same and if either or both were added it would give an extra boost to the bass sound that would be fitting for this piece. However, care would have to be taken to ensure that the violins were not overwhelmed by too much bass.
I didn’t include a possible substitute violin part for the viola part because the viola uses the C string. If there were no viola players you could miss the part out but the open ‘Gs’ in bar 25 and 30 would be a miss.
Unfortunately it wouldn’t work easily without a live pianist. There are moments when the piano doesn’t play and without a click track it would be difficult to keep to the piano track unless the snare drum player or the conductor had absolutely perfect rhythm.
The tempo change from the slow beginning to a quicker mid section is optional, but if it can be done it really enhances the piece. This is another reason why it would be tricky to play with the recorded piano part.
It is a technically simple piece. The tune in the mid-section for violins is the most difficult part. A cello solo tune bridges the gap between the mid section and the final rousing section.
‘Majestic Mountains’ simply needs full commitment from all players: long bows, a big confident sound and a happy demeanour!