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2019 New Releases, now available in the Store! 

We are very proud to make available the latest offerings in the Martini Strings catalogue of string orchestral pieces. This year adds another 3 works to the list, all very well received at the AUSTA Qld Reading Day on Sunday 10th Feb, and all specially crafted to help your string orchestra develop their skills...as well as sound wonderful!

First there is the "Chorale in A". A simple yet beautiful Chorale, the notes are playable by a Grade 2 level orchestra but for a more mature performance it would be better handled by a Grade 3 level ensemble.

Second is "Contemplation", a dream-like piece in 6/8 time is definitely suited to Grade 3 level ensembles. A lilting motif is passed around the upper strings, and the end is not fully resolved as the contemplation continues.

Finally we have "Sparkling Lights", a piece inspired as Alison was driving past a Brisbane university on the way home from a concert one night and saw the fairy lights in the trees. As they passed behind other branches they appeared to sparkle, which gave rise to this entire piece that night. Students can enjoy using harmonics, pizzicato, and the viola section gets to announce the main theme at the start. What's not to love!

We hope you will enjoy these pieces and find them useful for your string groups. To purchase, head over to the Store now.

2018 New Releases!! 

Welcome to 2018! Each new year bring new possibilities, and one of those possibilities is that your students might *love* orchestra this year. Fresh, new music is a great way to keep the buzz alive in your group.

 

We are releasing 2 titles this year, "Tango" at Grade 2.5 level, and "Sixteen Snippets" at a Grade 0.5 level. Tango is a traditional tango containing all the rhythms & modulations you'd expect, which means there are the challenges of B flats & F naturals over a steady and predictable Tango rhythm. Apart from the B flats, the notes are not very difficult which makes this piece at first seem too easy for Grade 2.5, but don't be fooled.

Sixteen Snippets is a collection of tiny performances pieces for students in their first year of playing. Beginning with plucked open strings (which can also be played arco), the pieces gradually become more difficult so that, by the end of the collection, the students are playing a true, full string orchestra piece. A variety of styles and harmonic idioms make this collection interesting and appealing.

 

Both pieces are available in the store now, along with the rest of the catalogue. Backing track CDs for Sixteen Snippets are on their way.

 

Happy playing!

2017 Release String Orchestra titles in store today! 

It's a new year, and that always means at least one good thing - new music! And we have some fantastic new titles available for you from today.

"Tarantella", a frenzied dance in 6/8 time, suits an emerging intermediate level string orchestra. It requires high 3rd fingers from the violins & violas and extended 4th fingers from the cellos for quite a bit of the piece, so a good one to get students' hands opening up and consolidating those shapes.

"Introduction & Theme from Witches' Dance" is an arrangement of the first two sections of Paganini's famous piece. Also suited to an emerging intermediate level string orchestra, this piece focuses particularly on hooked bowing, but the many tempo changes in the Introduction allow the ensemble practice at watching the conductor closely and staying together.

"A Daring Escape" requires a solid intermediate level string orchestra. Spiccato bowing and harmonic minor scale patterns are used throughout the work, giving students the opportunity to consolidate these techniques. Frequent changes of time signature keep everyone on the hop!

All titles are available in-store now - get yourself a head-start and some great music for 2017!

Happy playing!

Special price on a limited release in-store now! 

**SPECIAL!**LIMITED RELEASE!**

We have 10 copies of "Dance!" going out for only $40 in the store at the moment. That's less than half the normal price! Be quick to grab a copy before they disappear, and tell your string-teaching friends too!

This lively, jumping piece is sure to get even the quietest student smiling! Using the keys of D & G major, "Dance!" is best suited to students who have been playing for 1-2 years. The key technique is the up-up bowing, prevalent through the whole piece; otherwise most of the parts are quite easy. Violas & celli should look out near the end for their C#’s! 

There's never a dull moment here at Martini Strings, we've always got something on the boil...

New String Orchestra titles in store today! 

I'm incredibly pleased to announce four new String Orchestra titles in store today, ranging from Grade 2 to 4, all tried and tested. 2015 was a very busy year! If you have intermediate to advancing ensembles, check out these pieces for some fresh melodies. Available to be shipped nationally and internationally, purchase your copy today!

"Drought" conjures up images of baking plains and hot summer days; lots of harmonics and intricate harmonies. Chosen because of an integral bowing which is very useful for developing string players, "Variations on a Sea Shanty" takes a well-known sea shanty and explores a variety of melodic and rhythmic options. "Pizzicato Rush!" is a great little encore piece which is over in a flash but leaves you out of breath on the other side. "Rainstorm" is a piece in 6/8 time, depicting the arrival, intensity and passing of a tropical rain storm. 

I hope you find something here that suits your ensemble!

Martini Strings with the War Widows Guild of Qld 

Martini Strings is proud to have been the selected artist for this year's Friendship Lunch for the War Widows' Guild of Qld. This is an annual lunch hosted by a different branch each year, and was extremely well attended. MC'd by the wonderful Kay McGrath, the luncheon was full of love and laughter as friendships were formed and strengthened, even by those who only see other at these fabulous events.

We were very pleased to have been able to provide the entertainment for this lunch, playing as a string quartet. Many thanks to the War Widows' Guild of Qld!

Wedding Music - the Exit 

Now that the paperwork is out of the way, it's time to celebrate! It's amazing how music can enhance the atmosphere of a special occasion, and you don't want to miss a moment to make this a memorable day.

As always, consider the style of ceremony you have just created and choose something to be played as you exit and greet your guests that speaks to that style or flavour, something that makes sense following your other choices. If you've made traditional choices up till now, it's probably best to stay there, and likewise for the more casual style. Here are some suggestions.

For a Formal or Traditional ceremony:
  • La Rejouissance from the Fireworks Suite (Handel)
  • Spring, from the Fours Seasons (Vivaldi)
  • Arrival of the Queen of Sheba (Handel)
For a Casual or Contemporary ceremony:
  • What a Wonderful World (Armstrong)
  • Dare You to Move (Switchfoot)
  • The Rose (McBroom)
This is now the time you have to greet your guests before any formal reception later on. It's great to have some background music while you're catching up with everyone, so make sure you factor that into your planning. A 1-hour booking will only just cover your ceremony, but 1.5 hours will give you just that little bit of extra music to keep the celebration going. If you're having drinks or canapés at the ceremony site, why not have music for that time too? Every little bit helps to make your day memorable and special. Again, if you have any favourites that you don't see on our list, we are always more than happy to source or write arrangements for you. Time is essential, so 4-6weeks notice is a minimum, and there is a small fee for special arrangements, but it's definitely worth personalising your day so it's as meaningful as possible for you.

Hopefully these articles have been helpful, and feel free to contact us if you want to talk about anything regarding music for your wedding!

Wedding Music - Signing the Register 

It's official!

Well, almost. You've said your vows, you've exchanged rings, all that's left is to sign the paperwork. Can't even escape it on your wedding day.

This is the time during the ceremony when there isn't a whole lot for your guests to see going on, so give them some fantastic music to listen to. It's another spot where you can share a favourite or special song, or something that expresses your character as a couple. Recently we played for a wedding of a couple who were both environmental scientists, so they chose themes from movies that involved animals and plant life. You are only limited by your imagination!

Again, consider the style of ceremony you have planned and try to match the music accordingly. If you're not sure what to choose, here are a few suggestions.

For a Traditional / Formal Ceremony:
  • "Air on the G-string" (Bach)
  • Romance from "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik" (Mozart)
  • Menuett (Boccherini)
  • Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring (Bach)
  • Andante from Divertimento in D major K136 (Mozart)
For a more Casual or Contemporary ceremony:
  • "Someone to Watch Over Me" (Gershwin)
  • "The Rose" (McBroom)
  • "When You Say Nothing At All" (Krauss)
  • "Unchained Melody" (Righteous Brothers)
  • "Groovy Kind of Love" (Collins)
The sky is the limit! You have approximately 5-7 minutes while you sign the documents, your witnesses sign, your photographer takes some shots and then your family and friends have their chance to take photos. Take advantage of this time to make it enjoyable for your guests, and set a musical background to the momentous thing that's occurring in the foreground. Above all, choose music that you want to hear on your special day!

Need more ideas? Check out our Repertoire page. Next time I'll talk about After the Ceremony - see you then!

Wedding Music - the Entrance 

Music can set the tone for your wedding like nothing else. At Martini Strings we are committed to creating the perfect atmosphere for your day, so here are a few things to think about when considering the music for your entrance to the ceremony.

Think about the sort of feel you want for your guests. Do you want a very formal occasion? That's ok, it's whatever works for you. If you want a very formal occasion, I'd recommend choosing traditional classical pieces. Some suggestions would be:
  • Canon in D (Pachelbel)
  • Bridal Chorus (Wagner)
  • Wedding March (Mendelssohn)
If you still want a formal feel but you're not so keen on these, you might consider these:
  • Trumpet Voluntary (Jeremiah Clarke)
  • Alla Hornpipe (Handel)
  • Trumpet Tune (Purcell)
Perhaps you still want the elegance of a ceremonial occasion without feeling stiff? There are some movie & TV themes that we've played for entrances that work quite well, like these:
  • "Feather theme" from Forrest Gump
  • "A Thousand Years" from Twilight, by Christina Perri
  • "My Heart Will Go ON" from Titanic
And then...there's your imagination! If you have a favourite song that you really want, we're usually able to either find it or arrange it ourselves. We just need a bit of time, so make you let us know at least 4-6 weeks before your wedding if you can't find your favourite song on our list. We love adding to our library too, so we're more than happy to hear your ideas.

I hope that helps - tune in next time for ideas on what to choose for signing the register!

Wedding Music - what to choose! 

There are so many things to consider when planning your wedding, and sometimes music can become just another stress you don't need. Here are some things to think about when finding music that's right for you.
  1. Style - are you having a formal wedding, or a casual one? 
  2. Personality - what will the music say about you?
  3. Taste - what kind of music do you love?
In the next few posts I'll talk a little bit about music for each part of your day, with a few suggestions in these areas. Remember that if you really don't know - or don't mind - we are happy to choose appropriate pieces for you. We've played for hundreds of weddings over the years, so you can be sure we will find something perfectly suitable for your day!