Is it normal for a Violinist to play notes higher than its acceptable range?

• Sep 14, 2019 - 07:45

I'm not sure if this song (…) has the violins played that high. I may be tripping, but this also brings up a something I don't understand.

As you can see the notes are being colored "yellow", do violinists ever play that high?

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Be aware the clef for the violin is the octave-transposing clef (the little 8 above it) so everything is an octave higher than it looks. This is not standard and not a good idea at all, violinists are not used to reading that and it will likely confuse them.

Violin like many instruments has no one absolute highest note you can play, it depends on the skill of the player and also how you want that note player (gradually working up to it is easier than just playing one random high note, etc).

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Can't Violinists just adapt/learn to the play the "octave-transposing clef"? Wouldn't it be the same as 8va octava alta? I usually treat those like sight-reading. Don't we musicians normally go through those kind of problems?

Anyway.. Can you tell me if it's possible for violinist to play this part? The red box*

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In reply to by Haoto 2

I certainly can't tell you if that is executable on violin on two strings. You'd need a violinist. How well do you read alto or mezzo-soprano clef (old C clefs)? You can just learn.

I don't think it is reasonable for someone to attempt to write virtuosic music for an instrument they do not play. My opinion indeed doesn't matter, but good luck finding violinists interested in playing music written without knowledge of the violin. For you, who do not play the violin, to tell violinists "they should learn to read the clefs I use" is extremely presumptuous.

MuseScore can play any notes you write. You shouldn't need real violinists.

In reply to by BSG

I don't know what to say, I apologize.
["they should learn to read the clefs I use" is extremely presumptuous.]
I said we as a whole, that sounded like I thought all musicians are on the same boat. I'm really bad at interpreting what I want to say... Please give me some time.

Also, I just remembered something critical. String instruments aren't flexible in changing Key Signatures, correct? The song that I'm currently arranging starts with G Major, then A Flat Major, A Major, lastly D Major. Would it be possible to play the entire song without tuning them during performance?

In reply to by Haoto 2

String instruments do not have to tune to a particular key. The CONCERT HARP requires tuning during a piece. Violas, violins, cellos, etc. do not retune during hour-long symphonies and three-hour operas (except to fix tuning that has slipped between movements sometime) which change key hundreds of times. As a matter of fact, they are almost never (in modern music) tuned any way except the standard way.

You should not be writing music for instruments about which you know so little. I am an organist. I cannot, and would not, attempt to write music for shakuhachi, shenai, sarod, or erhu, even though I like these instruments and their sounds, and have even seen them played. Use MuseScore to express your musical creativity and fantasy as much as you want. No professional or even amateur instrumentalist will play compositions written with zero knowledge of their instrument. MuseScore is a beautiful thing. Exploit it. Don't worry about what real instruments and instrumentalists can play.

In reply to by BSG

I do write for symphonic and big band instruments although I do not play any of them. Actually I doubt that even great composer could really play ALL of them. But one can of course learn their properties good enough "theoretically" to be able to write music for them. I surely avoid any lines requiring virtuousity on a particular instrument (e.g. violin). I would leave that definitely to a composing violinist or very experienced composers which frequently had the chance to get feedback on their compositions from real players.

In reply to by BSG

I tried googling everything I can think off, but I don't even know what the name of rules are, haha.
I arrange music sheets for people who're interested in trying, where all of my work are considerably "playable". That's the issue I'm facing.
I doubt that there'll be anyone willing to play this arrangement of mine (which is done btw :, but I'll always have the objective of making it playable for someone out there.

In reply to by Haoto 2

Yes, in theory, violinists could learn to read the octave-transposing clef, or to get used to ottava lines for notes that actually aren't all that high. They could also in theory learn to play the viola, or to play tennis. That doesn't mean they do. If you want your music to be taken seriously by and played well by violinists, you write it the way they expect to read it. Music reading is about pattern recognition as much as it is about logic or theory. Seeing a note on the second space of the staff, a violinist by habit reaches for that A string. Breaking their concentration each and every note by making them unlearn that habit is a recipe for poorly played music and annoyed musicians.

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