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Thread: High notes on Viola?

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    In the last movement of my symphony I am having the viola play up to G at the top of the treble clef. I wouldn't think there is a problem with it, as far as difficulty or sound quality, but I thought I would ask if any of you know because I don't see it done that often. (The viola is paying harmony, but it actually goes a little higher than the 2nd violin which is playing melody an octave lower than the first.)

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    Senior Member Quaverion's Avatar
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    I'm sorry, I don't understand the question. If it is "how do you achieve a better sound quality for very high notes on the viola," I would say make larger faster bow strokes, and try to experiment with changing the pressure of your fingers on the strings. Harder pressure gives a clearer better tone lower on the string, but does the opposite higher.

    If that is not what you meant, could you clarify the question? Sorry.
    It is our imperfections that make us who we are.

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    Senior Member Daniel's Avatar
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    I think your question is if viola can go higher than 2 nd violin concerning to sound and playability.

    About the difficulty don't worry. A lot of viola scores are really not easy and go even higher.

    About the sound: If you don't let them play all the time higher than 2 nd violin, there is no reason why not to do it. Firstly you get an amazing sound. Viola's high position is kinda smooth and warm if they play together, much more than the clear crystal sounding of the violins. Secondly you get a new colour. Usually viola should play lower than 2 nd violin, but that isn't a strict rule. Just feel free to do it.

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    Originally posted by daniel@Sep 12 2004, 10:09 AM
    I think your question is if viola can go higher than 2 nd violin concerning to sound and playability.

    About the difficulty don't worry. A lot of viola scores are really not easy and go even higher.

    About the sound: If you don't let them play all the time higher than 2 nd violin, there is no reason why not to do it. Firstly you get an amazing sound. Viola's high position is kinda smooth and warm if they play together, much more than the clear crystal sounding of the violins. Secondly you get a new colour. Usually viola should play lower than 2 nd violin, but that isn't a strict rule. Just feel free to do it.
    [snapback]1906[/snapback]
    Thanks! I figured there would not be any problem scoring the violas high, but I thought I would ask if someone here knew of one. Thanks for telling me what they sound like high, also.

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    ...*sigh* Another viola part I won't be able to play...;p
    <span style='color:green'><span style='font-family:Optima'>Music is what feelings sound like...Anon</span>.</span>

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    Senior Member Quaverion's Avatar
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    This is the symphony you are writing? Is it nearly complete? Let&#39;s see what you have so far.
    It is our imperfections that make us who we are.

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    Originally posted by Quaverion@Sep 12 2004, 09:15 PM
    This is the symphony you are writing? Is it nearly complete? Let&#39;s see what you have so far.
    [snapback]1919[/snapback]
    I don&#39;t like to post something unfinished. <_< :P But I am nearly done, so it will not be long from now.

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    Originally posted by Nox@Sep 12 2004, 08:48 PM
    ...*sigh* Another viola part I won&#39;t be able to play...;p
    [snapback]1918[/snapback]
    You can&#39;t play high notes? Sorry about that&#33; Anyway you don&#39;t have to play this piece.

    It is necessary for equality that the violas play that high. The first violins here have to go up to B-flat 6, just below the highest note on the flute. (And anyone who doesn&#39;t like THAT can play SECOND violin&#33 :P :P

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    Senior Member Daniel's Avatar
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    ...or do orchestra tricks....often you don&#39;t hear modifications which are done in orchestra (though not in high level orchestras): e.g. splitting "dangerous" and high passage in the 1 st violin for example: making sections: 2 violinists play the first 16 th notes the next 2 violinists the next passage etc.... or just playing passages one octave below, this is often done, because intonation really gets annoying even if they are not bad violinists&#33;

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    I&#39;m learning&#33; High positions and orchestra tricks&#33;

    ...had my second orchestra practice last night...this time I played many more notes and didn&#39;t get lost as often (woohoo&#33...and I&#39;m STILL better than the very sweet lady who I sit beside...
    <span style='color:green'><span style='font-family:Optima'>Music is what feelings sound like...Anon</span>.</span>

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    Senior Member Daniel's Avatar
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    But take care of her, maybe she wants to copy you&#33;

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    Senior Member Quaverion's Avatar
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    Yes. We will all "take care of her" if she succeeds in taking your position. Don&#39;t worry.
    It is our imperfections that make us who we are.

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    Senior Member Harvey's Avatar
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    orchestra tricks
    ... <_< are not permitted in my orchestra.
    IF I hit a wrong key its becaus i kind of like it that way.

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    Why not? :P

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    ...had my 3rd orchestra session this week...I can handle the Pink Panther and the Bach...woohoo&#33;...
    <span style='color:green'><span style='font-family:Optima'>Music is what feelings sound like...Anon</span>.</span>

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