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Variations on an Irish Tune

By Brian Balmages

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String orchestra - Level 2
Composed by Brian Balmages. Developing Strings. FJH Developing Strings. Score and set of parts. Duration 3 minutes, 50 seconds. Published by The FJH Music Company Inc (FJ.ST6116).

Item Number: FJ.ST6116

Observe all accents, particularly those in the third section that occur on offbeats. This accented syncopation is vital to the style and should be exaggerated as much as possible. The cello and bass lines should really "dig in" and soar at measure 93, w
Variations on an Irish Tune is based on The Minstrel Boy by Thomas Moore, one of the most important figures in 19th-century Irish music. After a brief, heralding introduction, the piece moves into a drone, simulating the sound of bagpipes. At this point, the original tune is presented in its entirety. Slight variations on the opening motif then begin to appear as the work moves into a lyrical section. The second section is not a literal variation of The Minstrel Boy; rather, the melody is based on altered fragments of the original tune. In measure 55, hints of the second half of the tune are heard. These different motifs are combined with original material to create the entire scope of the second variation. The third variation restates elements of the drone, but also introduces fiddle-style playing. The rhythmic intensity continues to build until violin 1 introduces the final variation. The entire ensemble then builds to an exciting hoedown conclusion.

About FJH Developing Strings

Slightly more advanced than Beginning Strings, this series begins to involve more position work and a slightly more complex rhythmic figures. Rehearsal piano is often provided. Ideal for middle school and smaller high school programs. Grade 2 - 2.5

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