String orchestra basics 2/3 - Philipp Dangas

String orchestra basics 2/3 [Tasks of the instruments]

Individual tasks of string instruments in general

I. Violins
Usually leading the melody or as a melody reinforcement in the upper octave. Occasionally also with filler voices in the high register against a soprano or alto melody. Or in the middle register against a tenor or soprano melody.
II. Violins
Often used to accompany the 1st violins in thirds or sixths, or they can lead the melody to octave reinforcement. Or they have an accompanying function or an outspoken opposing voice.
Are chordal, figured or voiced moderately entrusted to the accompaniment. Occasionally they can be melody-leading. Or take over the bass when the cello is pausing or has an opposing voice.
Usually represents the bass voice, they can lead the melody in the tenor range. Or also be involved in the accompaniment and filling.
Double bass
Responsible almost exclusively for the bass doubling in the lower octave. As an independent bass leader, he is out of the question.

Individual tasks of the string instruments in detail


Rests can break up the thick sound of the lower instruments and bring out the melody. A popular technique in string orchestra tutti is to gradually reverse up or down movements. You can use a sustained note as a fill, but it always depends on the character of the part. That would not be appropriate for a moving character.


Score for striking or tremolosing by the string orchestra

The graphic for the classical orchestral score can be enlarged. They are activatable.

Striking or tremolosing notes in eighth notes would not have a good effect on a single instrument (e.g. a violin). In the choral setting, it gives the violins power, brilliance and fullness in a rapid tempo. And is therefore a very popular means of maximum power development.


A special way of producing sound without using the bow. Namely the pizzicato performed by plucking or plucking the string with the fingertip. An imitation of the sound of a harp or lute. In the highest positions, the violin pizzicato is naturally very pointed and glassy. In the lower register, the sound is rather dull. Note the unison with the harp in this regard.


In terms of dynamics and performance, the string instruments are among the most agile and versatile instruments in the entire orchestra. All levels of strength from ppp = ["as quiet as possible"] to fff = ["as loud as possible"] are available in sustained tones or any form of movement throughout the tonal range. Likewise, the crescendo [“gradually becoming louder”] and the decrescendo [“gradually becoming quieter”] is possible in every way for all string instruments.

1/3.Example for string orchestra 3/3 example for the string orchestra