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Topic: Programming string quartett with GPO: Any advice?

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  1. #1

    Programming string quartett with GPO: Any advice?

    I could need some advice how to programm a string quartett using GPO. Can anyone tell me which instruments fit best and how to start (cello line, violine first?). Any tips or links are highly appreciated.
    best regards
    Raindog

  2. #2
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    Re: Programming string quartett with GPO: Any advice?

    Look just above the name of your thread in the list, there is a sticky in which somebody helpfully posted a pile of GPO studio presets, including one for string quartet. Overture also offers a notation preset in its template list. Just put the two together. It loads keyswitched instruments. If you don't intend using pizz etc, you could alternatively just load any single instruments from the available selection of violin, viola and cello. This all seems very elementary, so perhaps it is not the answer to the question you have in mind. In any event, the secret of a good result will depend not on which individual instruments you select, but on how creatively you use expression aids. It is easy to end up with a sound like a fair ground organ, even with a product as good as this one. I would be interested to hear your results in due course. I am still working on getting a good quartet sound, but believe I am making progress, if slowly. Quite a few people here with an interest in string quartet writing will be waiting with interest to see if Johnny Lost fuflils his ambition to set the Beethoven quartets in GPO following his dazzling success with the piano sonatas. I suspect this mountain will be too high to climb.

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    Re: Programming string quartett with GPO: Any advice?

    wait are you talking about writing string quartet? This could be one long discussion if that is the case(the amount of styles and techniques) long man long. As for programming one with hmmm I never though there being a wrong right way. I mean Solo violin, Solo second violin, solo viola, solo cello. I do it in Sibelius for that
    All I can Say is...HA!...HA!...HAAAAAAA!!!!!

  4. #4

    Re: Programming string quartett with GPO: Any advice?

    There's no wrong way to write a string quartet . . . (although certain techniques may not sound as good to experienced ears)
    Sean Patrick Hannifin
    My MP3s | My Melody Generator | my album
    "serious music" ... as if the rest of us are just kidding

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    Re: Programming string quartett with GPO: Any advice?

    Right on!!!
    Just for the hell of it I am writing a 18th century style quartet because I am testing out GPO in Sibelius(which sound fantastic and plays so realistic)
    just something for fun.
    But what Sean Hannifin says is right on there is no wrong way. Start with the cello if you want do a 12 tone string quartets do all dimished chords whatever.
    All I can Say is...HA!...HA!...HAAAAAAA!!!!!

  6. #6

    Re: Programming string quartett with GPO: Any advice?

    Thanks for your advice. I was indeed asking for advice in both: composing and the most suitable GPO instruments.

    I know that composing is very tricky and I´m mainly doing it by listening to other string quartetts and applying the trial and error method. I was not sure though if there are some arrangement tricks (e.g. start with the cello and build the other instruments from there) which have shown to be helpful.

    The other question was about the GPO instruments to use. Which combination would be the most useful for programming quartett music. I´m not sure though if I won´t try the Kirk Hunter solo strings as they seem to be more realistic than GPO.

    Thanks for any input
    Raindog

  7. #7

    Re: Programming string quartett with GPO: Any advice?

    String quartets are generally 2 Violins, Viola and Cello, so I usually use Gagli KS solo, Strad KS solo, Viola KS solo, and Cello 1 or 2 KS solo. The KS (keyswitch) versions are really nice for when you want pizzicato or something.

    I don't know of any arrangement tricks. There are many different methods and forms, enough to write a book. But I find the best thing is to just go with your gut, and do whatever feels right.
    Sean Patrick Hannifin
    My MP3s | My Melody Generator | my album
    "serious music" ... as if the rest of us are just kidding

  8. #8

    Re: Programming string quartett with GPO: Any advice?

    Actually, there are wrong ways to write a string quartet. One has to worry about balance, how to write so it sounds like what you hear in your head, and most importantly playability. If humans can't play it (or wouldn't want to because only the first viiolin part is interesting) then it will never get performed. String Quartets are hard to write, but are an excellent exercise on the way to composing for orchestra.

    BTW... for programming I never use the Strad because it is a little to harsh for my taste and doesn't blend well. I like to use the Gagli for Violin I and the Guarni for Violin II.
    Jess Hendricks
    DMA Student and Teaching Asst in Music Theory/ Composition at the University of Miami
    Personal Website

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    Re: Programming string quartett with GPO: Any advice?

    actually there are many things that you can do with a string quartet that you coudn't do with an orchestra*(string ensemble, or so it seems) I seem to hear some many notes when I write one, each instrument is asking and answering phrases like a bunch sopranos, tenors and bass's in an aria arguing String Quartets are fun and are a great way to learn string writing...ie supporting melody, and harmony, rhythic movement in the bass and tons of stuff. go for it!
    All I can Say is...HA!...HA!...HAAAAAAA!!!!!

  10. #10

    Re: Programming string quartett with GPO: Any advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by StrangeCat
    actually there are many things that you can do with a string quartet that you coudn't do with an orchestra*(string ensemble, or so it seems) I seem to hear some many notes when I write one, each instrument is asking and answering phrases like a bunch sopranos, tenors and bass's in an aria arguing String Quartets are fun and are a great way to learn string writing...ie supporting melody, and harmony, rhythic movement in the bass and tons of stuff. go for it!
    Indeed! The late Beethoven String Quartets probably rank very high among the top 50 works of all time.

    Ed

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