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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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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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.
 

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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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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
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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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Originally posted by Nox@Sep 12 2004, 08:48 PM
...*sigh* Another viola part I won't be able to play...;p
[snapback]1918[/snapback]​
You can't play high notes? Sorry about that! Anyway you don'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't like THAT can play SECOND violin!) :p :p
 

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...or do orchestra tricks....often you don'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!
 

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I'm learning! High positions and orchestra tricks! :D

...had my second orchestra practice last night...this time I played many more notes and didn't get lost as often (woohoo!)...and I'm STILL better than the very sweet lady who I sit beside...
 

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Yeah...not all directors will allow such tricks...but I think the tricks Daniel's talking about are not really ' playing' tricks...but more like flexibile re-arrangement and decisions taken by the conductor for efficiency.
I know that some conductors will change or split ( for instance ) double stoppings into a2( 2 groups ) and such... and having 1 section playing in 3rd positions and the other in the first just to en-rich the sound...
And most importantly... to take turns to hold long tied notes...the orchestra doesn't really hold the notes or rather diminuendo/crescendo at the same point of time to ensure a seamless flow, and sometimes for tonal effects.
But most apparently, and almost essentially so, is when the mute is employed in orchestral playing( esp. with the cellos). U can't have all the cellists stop playing to adjust the mute at one same point of time. So what they do, is taking turns...maybe four at a time and so on...
These flexible options really greatly facilitate playing.
But some ensembles believe in -absolutely-no-change- with regards to original arrangements and performance directions and so on.
I find that both parties are right. But if slight amendments will facilitate playing and make the session more enjoyable( ensemble playing at the advanced level can be more of a stressful thing than enjoyable)...Why not then? :)
 

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Well, I'm having fun. Absolutely no pressure from other members or the conductor. I'm not playing well, but hopefully I'm not putting anyone off either...

...and I'm getting better! :)
 

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high notes

baroque flute said:
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.)
I'd say most violists can play four octaves from low c to c"" far above the treble clef. Some can play higher, but those notes tend to squeek a bit. There is only one major consideration; don't keep them there all the time. The fourth octave ( from the c'" above the treble clef to the c"" above that ) is not confortable for long term use. The viola really only has three octaves of "confortable" positions.
 
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