Winter Wonderland (String Quintet)

Winter Wonderland (String Quintet)


This a piece arranged for a standard string quintet; two violins, viola, cello, and double bass. It is a jazz arrangement and performed in swing, but many of the parts are written out. Only the walking bass line and the solo sections are given chord changes.

Difficulty: Intermediate

Rhythm: Are there no particularly challenging rhythms, though for a more classically trained group, extra time might have to be spent navigating the offbeat anticipations and delays.

Range: Only the viola part may be high, the rest is in a very playable range starting from a low high school level.

Harmony: It is all in jazz harmony, with ii-V-I’s and IV-V-I’s. This means seventh chords and extended harmonies. Classically trained musicians with little experience in jazz or pops may have to spend more time addressing the extra color tones. The flat key (Eb) may also take some getting used, if need be.

Other: Soloing in this piece isn’t too difficult from E-F for the violins; sticking to the key scale, Eb, works very well with quotes from the melody. The bass solo at G switches to G, but adding in color tones from the Eb scale works too, as long as they are resolved. Your bass may want to take the time to write out some two feel bass lines before the solo section, then walking lines for the solo section.


Commissioned by the Perrin Yang Quartet.


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