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In Memoriam: Percy F. Hall
March 6, 1928 - May 30, 2019
Click here for a biography, with photos and recordings
plus information on Memorial Gifts

String Orchestra

New Releases – 2012-2013
Grand March from “Aida” - Guiseppe Verdi, arr. Percy Hall            MP3
Difficulty: MD Grade 3   Publ. Code: LudwigMasters 50250063  
The well known and highly skilled Italian composer Guiseppe Verdi is best known for his opera scores. The Egyptian government commissioned Verdi to compose an opera to celebrate the opening of the a new opera hall in Cairo. The opera “Aida” was first performed in Dec. 24, 1871. The story is a fictitious love triangle based very loosely on Egyptian history and was a great success. This triumphal march takes place following a wartime victory, and included live elephants on stage.

Europeans were fascinated with Egyptian art and culture ever since Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt in 1798, and even more so following the translation of Egyptian hieroglyphics on the Rosetta stone in 1822. The music is strictly European regarding melody, harmony and style, bearing no trace of Egyptian ethnicity. This grand march for strings only is scored to capture the majesty of the victory parade with elephants omitted!

Danse Macabre - Camille Saint-Saens, arr. Percy Hall            MP3
Difficulty: D - Grade 4   Publ. Code: LudwigMasters 50250003  
This arrangement for strings is very close to the original full orchestra version with challenging parts in all instruments. Two very competent violinists are needed for solo playing because of the unique tuning required. Orchestra members and audiences will enjoy this piece because of the story it tells. It would be a perfect selection for a fall concert near Hallowe'en

War March of the Priests (from Athalia) - Felix Mendelssohn, arr. by Percy Hall            MP3
Difficulty: M - Grade 2.5   Publ. Code: LudwigMasters 50250029  
This music is some of Mendelssohn's best providing a string version of a very dramatic piece. Position playing is desirable in many passages and necessary frequently as well. Many dotted 8th followed by a 16th note passages present challenges in rhythm and precision. Hooked bowings are well marked. The music is so dramatic it is well worth the effort. This would be an excellent choice for a processional march for graduation or some other important occasion.

New Releases – 2011-2012
Czardas - Vittorio Monti - arr. by Percy Hall            MP3
Difficulty: D Violin Solo Grade 4 with String Orch Accomp. Grade 2   Publ. Code: LudwigMasters 50260001  
Czardas is one of the most popular violin solos in the repertory, frequently performed as an encore by some of the best violinists in the world. This arrangement presents it as a violin solo with string orchestra accompaniment. It can be played by an outstanding high school violinist, or a soloist from the community as a guest performer with the school orchestra. The solo part has not been altered and presents technical and musical challenges. While the accompaniment is not technically difficult, careful rehearsing is required to stay with the soloist because of the rapidity of the tempo, and the frequent changing of tempos.

Audiences will really enjoy this piece.

King William’s March - Jeremiah Clarke, arr. by Percy Hall            MP3
Difficulty: ME Grade 2   Publ. Code: LudwigMasters 50250027  
Here is another royal march by Jeremiah Clarke, who is remembered for Trumpet Voluntary which was erroneously attributed to his predecessor, Henry Purcell, for many years. This one is just as attractive, and less difficult. All parts can be played in first position, except for a few high D’s in the bass part, and the key of D major throughout should be comfortable for younger players. Clarke composed this for some unknown royal occasion for King William the Third (William of Orange) who was king of England, Scotland and Ireland at a time in history when Catholics and Protestants were fighting for political control all over Europe. Here is an opportunity to integrate music and history in the classroom, and on stage as well. Assign some of your students to look up the dates and background of William of Orange, and Jeremiah Clarke.

Largo from the New World Symphony - Antonin Dvorak, arr. by Percy Hall            MP3
Difficulty: M Grade 3   Publ. Code: LudwigMasters 50250028  
Largo, the second movement of Dvorak’s New World Symphony, is one of the most familiar melodies in symphonic literature. The symphony was commissioned by the New York Philharmonic and first performed in 1893, following an extended visit to the U.S. by Dvorak to study the ethnic music of our country. Largo is an original melody by Dvorak, although it is thought by some to be an African-American Song. This arrangement is slightly abridged, but all of the principal themes are included. Rehearsing and performing this familiar piece by one of the world’s great composers will be a monumental musical experience.

Minuetto from Sym. No 40 in G Minor W.A. Mozart, arr. by Percy Hall            MP3
Difficulty: MD Grade 3.5   Publ. Code: LudwigMasters 50250031  
Of all of the symphonies Mozart composed, only two are in G minor, and No. 40 is known as the Great G Minor Symphony. The third movement certainly lives up to that title. If you are expecting a normal classical Minuetto, then this is not it. Mozart has a surprise for us. Even though this movement is in 3/4 meter, it certainly is not for dancing! The style is more in the style of a march with unusual cross rhythms, odd length phrases, contrapuntal melodies and dissonant harmonies. In contrast, the trio is more conventional. This arrangement for strings only is very close to the original setting for full orchestra. All parts require competence in playing positions. This piece offers a great opportunity to meet Mozart at his finest.

The Rough Riders - Percy Hall            MP3
Difficulty: M Grade 3   Publ. Code: LudwigMasters 50250033  
If you have performed the William Tell Finale and are looking for a piece just as exciting and technically challenging - the Rough Riders could be it. It describes the epic battle of San Juan Hill in the Spanish American War when Teddy Roosevelt led his volunteer cavalry up San Juan Hill in Cuba to defeat the Spanish. In the music, you can hear the horses galloping up the hill, jumping over rocks as they go. In several places you will also hear melodies from the cowboy song "Home on the Range." Roosevelt was fond of the open spaces of the west. He owned a home and a ranch in North Dakota, which I am sure is where he would rather have been riding his horse over the prairie, rather than charging up San Juan Hill.

The tempo indicated by the metronome marking is very conservative. This could easily be graded as 4-level difficulty if you have the technique and speed to play it faster. It is the result of a commission by the Roosevelt High School Orchestra, Kent, Ohio in celebration of their 50th anniversary. Try it -you will love it!

Previously released (Some are available also as string ensembles)

Grade 2-2½
Air and Polka - P. Hall            MP3
Difficulty: ME (grade 2.5)   Publ. Code: LudwigMasters 20250021  
Originally commissioned for String Choir, this piece works well for full string orchestra. The harmonic progressions are interesting in the short “Air” along with some dissonances. The “Polka” has active 16th note parts in all of the voices making equal challenges in technique for all. All parts can be played in first position with the exception of a few high D’s in the bass part. The keys are D and G Major. Orchestra members will need to learn to play effectively in two contrasting styles: lyrical and staccato. This is fun to play..

Blue Note Rock – Hall            MP3
Difficulty: ME (grade 2)   Publ. Code: 20250004  
The Blue Note Rock was written for young orchestras to learn what "blue notes" are and to experience the feeling of the blues. In the key of G major, flatted thirds and 7ths are included which creates the authentic blues sound. The melody alternates between the major and the "blue" tonalities. For orchestras with minimal instrumentation, the violas have the same part as the 2nd violins, and it will also sound fine without the basses, but of course, better with them. A piano part is included but is not essential. The piece opens and closes with the main theme played by the cellos. The parts and score are well marked with slurs, dots and dashes to help capture the rock style and there are also a number of hooked bowings. For a novelty number in your program you could have the orchestra members wear sunglasses for the performance! Your orchestra members will really enjoy this piece and learn a great deal in the process.

Bluebells Variations - Old Scottish Air arr. Percy Hall            MP3
Difficulty: M (grade 2.5)   Publ. Code: 20250010  
Over half of the world’s population of bluebells are found in the British Isles, so it is no wonder that Scotland has produced a song in recognition of this beautiful and plentiful wildflower. This familiar Scottish Air adapts well to variations. The melody is first presented as a stately march with the melody changing from high to low strings. The first variation is in the style of a Viennese waltz, and the second and final variation imitates a Scottish jig. The first violins and cellos will need some facility in position playing to achieve the best performance. Keys are G and A major. A variety of bow styles are needed which makes this an excellent learning piece as well as a concert and contest selection.

Bring a Torch Jeannette, Isabella - 17th Cent. French Tune/Hall            MP3
Difficulty: M (Grade 2)   Publ. Code: 20250694  
This familiar piece will be a great addition to your Christmas Concert, but actually it could be used in any season. Even though we think of it as Christmas music because of the title, the tune was originally a 13th century dance tune, and in the 17th century it became a drinking song arranged by the French composer Marc Charpentier. This is an unlikey beginning for a song we think of as a lullaby. The harmonies are beautiful and included is a short optional violin solo which can be played by the entire section. Your orchestra and audience will love it.

Concertino in G - Sammartini/Hall            MP3            short MP3
Difficulty: ME (grade 2)   Publ. Code: 20250693  
A perfect example of the type of Baroque music that can make a young orchestra sound its very best. All parts can be played in first position and there is plenty of rhythmic and melodic activity in all voices so that all players will feel equally important. It is marked grade 2, but it is one of those pieces which will sound much more difficult than it really is. Bowings and dynamics are well marked so that players can meet with success in the first rehearsal. This piece is a must for any orchestra.

The Coventry Carol - Traditional/Hall            MP3            short MP3
Difficulty: ME (grade 2)   Publ. Code: 20250692  
The Coventry Carol was a part of the cycle of mystery plays which were performed in Coventry, England in the time of Shakespeare. In this arrangement, the opening 12 measures have been arranged in Renaissance harmony and meter. The second verse has been arranged in today's tonality in a very dramatic fashion to represent the text, which speaks of Herod's rage and his orders to slay the children. The third verse expresses the sadness of the mothers at the loss of their children. Even though marked grade 2, the keys are one and two flats and parts (especially cellos) have rhythmic movement in the second verse. This was performed at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Conference in Dec. 2004. Even without words, the arrangement tells a very descriptive story.

Dancing In the Street - P. Hall            MP3
Difficulty: ME (grade 2.5)   Publ. Code: LudwigMasters 20250029  
I was fortunate enough to visit Spain during the time of religious festivals in three cities: Madrid, Granada and Seville. Each festival began with a parade in which a statue of the Virgin Mary was carried thru the city streets. Following the parade it is party time with celebrations of flamenco dancing in the streets.

We usually think of castanets as an accompanying instrument to flamenco dancing, but that is a much more recent addition. Hand clapping, (in rather complex rhythms) foot stomping and shouting is what originally began the flamenco dancing, and that is still the custom. This original composition captures the celebratory festive mood of the flamenco dance as it begins with hand clapping, foot stomping and shouting, and then is followed by a rhythmic tune. The orchestra members will be singing the catchy tune walking thru the halls to their next class, and in concert the audience will simply think they are in Spain when they hear it.

The key is E minor, and the themes are in the form of a rondo. (ABACA) All parts can be played in first position with the exception of several notes in the cello part, and two different fingerings are recommended. This piece will really energize your orchestra.

Early American Suite - 6 Traditional Folk Tunes and Hymns            MP3
Difficulty: ME (grade 2-2½)   Publ. Code: 00478  
Early American Suite includes six songs and hymns which are a very important part of our American heritage. Four fiddle tunes are included: Blue-Tail Fly, The Girl I Left Behind Me, Kingdom's Comin', and Arkansas Traveler. The two hymn tunes are Chester (the fight song of the American revolution) and Duke Street, and they are sandwiched in between the fiddle tunes for contrast. In fact, this can be treated as two suites in one: the 6 pieces can be divided into two suites of 3 songs each if desired and you will have delightful Early American Music for two concerts! This piece is also available for string trio, string quartet, and string quintet, making it possible to use for contests, or for small ensembles performing for community groups. This is truly American music at its best!

Fiddle-A-Jig - (In the style of an Irish Jig) – Hall            MP3
Difficulty: ME (grade 2)   Publ. Code: 00480  
An original work based on the rhythm of one of the most popular Irish dances, the jig. This is more of a concert jig, rather than one to play for dancing, because it has frequent ritards and fermati at phrase endings. All instruments can stay in first position, and the keys of G and C major offer little challenge for developing performers, but 6/8 meter calls for hooked bowings to capture the vitality of the tunes. This original piece is on contest lists in a number of states, and it is also available for string quintet.

Fiddle-Skippin’ – P. Hall
Difficulty: ME (grade 2)   Publ. Code: 20250020  
This short piece captures the exuberance of the early American square dance. The tempo marking is not fast, but the spirit of the music can be captured with a light detached bow style, or the tempo can be taken faster for more advanced string players. Ranges are conservative, and a third violin part is included to reinforce a small viola section.

Gavotte and Contredanse - Rameau, arr. Hall            MP3
Difficulty: E (grade 2)   Publ. Code: 00473  
Gavotte and Contredanse are both rather lively French dances from the 17th century. Rameau was a French composer born just two years before Bach. The gavotte is a gracious dance in duple meter with four bar phrases that begin with an up beat, whereas the contredanse, which evolved from the earlier English country dance, is more spirited and is constructed in 8 bar phrases. Even though both dances are to be played in two beats per measure, the Contredanse should be played with energy and abandon as if dancing in bare feet, while the Gavotte is more reserved, keeping in mind a mental picture of people wearing powdered wigs. Energetic bowing is required in both dances.

Get the Spirit – Traditional Spirituals arr. P. Hall
Difficulty: ME (grade 2.5)   Publ. Code: 20250030  
Three familiar spirituals which often sung have been scored for developing string orchestras: Shortnin’ Bread, Do Lord, and Standin’ in the Need of Prayer. Ranges, key signatures and rhythms are basic and all sections get a chance to play the melody, Orchestra members and audiences will love this arrangement even if they are not familiar with the songs. A third violin part is included to support the viola section if needed.

Johnny's A Soldier (Buttermilk Hill and Johnny Comes Marching Home) - Hall            MP3            short MP3
Difficulty: M (Grade 2)   Publ. Code: 20250678  
A setting of two important songs of America's history. Johnny Has Gone for a Soldier, sometimes called Buttermilk Hill. is arranged in lush harmonies to create a mood of sadness at the departure of a young boy as he goes off to war. This is followed by When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again changing the mood to exhilaration at his safe return home. All instruments have a chance at the melody.

Joy to the World - arr Hall            MP3            short MP3
Difficulty: M (Grade 2-2½)   Publ. Code: 00568  
A perennial Christmas favorite. This winning arrangement presents the tune in four exciting settings, telling the history of how it evolved to the popular carol we sing today. It will be a welcome addition to any holiday program.

March and Waltz for a Princess - P. Hall            MP3
Difficulty: ME (grade 2.5)   Publ. Code: LudwigMasters 20250022  
This original composition was composed for the developing orchestra at the junior high level. All parts are in first position with the exception of a few notes in the bass part. The difficulty is really closer to the 1.5 difficulty. The music describes a festive ball to honor a fictional princess. There are two contrasting themes; a processional march and a waltz, with a return to the march which calls attention to ABA form. Emphasis is placed on a variety of bowing skills providing a valuable learning experience. The keys are D and G Major.

A Merry Spanish Christmas (Fum, Fum, Fum and Riu, Riu, Chiu) - arr. Hall            MP3            short MP3
Difficulty: ME (Grade 2)   Publ. Code: 00572  
Fresh and different! Two Spanish Christmas carols (villancicos), Fum, Fum, Fum and Riu, Riu, Chiu are combined to create a great addition to holiday concerts. Instrument ranges are all in first position, but the syncopations and two flats in the key signature will offer some challenge to less experienced players. However, the exciting sounds and interesting pizzicatos will serve as a motivation to learn the music.

Over the River and Through the Woods - arr. Hall            MP3
Difficulty: M (Grade 2.5)   Publ. Code: 20250005  
Performers and audiences will thoroughly enjoy this tune as it dips into the simple life of the past. Those who know the song will recall singing “the horse knows the way to carry the sleigh o’er white and drifted snow.” The tune would be an excellent choice for a concert near Christmas or Thanksgiving, or for any winter concert. The rather fast tempo offers some challenge of technical facitlity, and there are some divisi passages in both first and second violin parts, but all parts can be played in first position. What makes it even more enjoyable is that all parts have a chance to play the melody at various times. Keys are D and G major and the meter is 6/8 taken in 2.

Royal Fireworks Minuet - Handel, arr. Hall            MP3
Difficulty: E (grade 2)   Publ. Code: 00475  
Royal Fireworks Minuet by G. F. Handel is a small part of a commissioned work by the King of England to be performed at a celebration of fireworks. The fireworks were accidentally detonated, and so the display never occurred, but the music has lived long afterward. It is frequently performed by major symphony orchestras. This minuet is not to be played in the typical delicate style we often associate with that kind of dance, but rather with considerable strength and vitality. String players must have a mental picture of the power of brass instruments to capture the spirit of the music as the composer intended.

Still, Still, Still - Traditional Carol/Hall            MP3            short MP3
Difficulty: ME (Grade 2)   Publ. Code: 20260691  
A well known Austrian lullaby. The simplicity of the carol has been preserved in this arrangement with parts all in first position with perhaps one exception in the cello part. The keys of D and G major are favorable for young players, but the melodic lines make this a lovely change of pace for more advanced players.

Trumpet Voluntary - Clarke, arr. Hall            MP3
Difficulty: E (grade 2-2½)   Publ. Code: 00472  
A familiar processional march originally written for organ, and used for festive occasions in the magnificent St. Paul's Cathedral in London, where the composer, Jeremiah Clarke served as choir master and organist around 1700. This is his best known piece and is often used today for wedding and graduation processionals. Until 1953, when some old manuscripts were found (proving that Clarke was the composer), it was thought to be a work of his more famous contemporary Henry Purcell, so it is possible you might find Purcell listed as the composer on earlier editions.

This arrangement is listed as grade 2.5, however in order to play the trills and turns correctly the first violins need to play at times in 3rd position. It will be a great opportunity to teach this skill, because the players will quickly recognize the need for it. The trills have been notated in order to clarify exactly how to negotiate them. Other parts are all very straightforward in the key of D Major.

Valse from La Perichole - Jacques Offenbach, arr. Hall            MP3
Difficulty: M (Grade 2½)   Publ. Code: 20250003  
This is a beautiful Viennese valse composed by Offenbach for one of his many operas. It should be rehearsed in a fast three until the players are comfortable with one beat to the measure. There are two separate first violin parts marked 1 A and 1 B and both are necessary. The 1A part has considerable 3rd position work, and the cello part also calls for position playing. All sections have lyrical partsat various sections of the piece.The publisher has marked this piece Grade 2 but it is really more demanding than that level.

We Wish You A Merry Christmas (also Ukranian Bell Carol) - arr. Hall            MP3            short MP3
Difficulty: ME (Grade 2)   Publ. Code: 00580  
This arrangement also includes the popular Ukranian Bell Carol. The melodies lie well for strings and even though it is listed as Grade 2 difficulty it can be a fine encore for high school orchestras when taken at a rather rapid tempo.

Grade 3-4
Andante Cantabile in D - Tchaikovsky arr. by P. Hall            MP3
Difficulty: M (grade 3)   Publ. Code: LudwigMasters 20250028  
This melody is taken from Tchaikovsky’s String Quartet No. 1.. He is widely recognized for his beautiful, flowing, expressive melodies, and this is one of his best. It calls for beautiful tone and sensitive vibrato in all parts. Rumor has it that the melody was founded on a folk song whistled by a house painter.

It has been slightly abridged, omitting the second theme, and was originally in Bb major. It lies very comfortably in D major with two exceptions where fingerings are suggested to best accomplish the technique and intonation. Those sections will be challenging but the piece is well worth the effort. You can offer no better musical experience to your orchestra members than a beautiful melody by Tchaikovsky.

Appalachian Reflections - Traditional, arr. Hall            MP3
Difficulty: M (Grade 3)   Publ. Code: 20250006  
There is a wealth of mountain music from Appalachia which lie well for strings. Two popular fiddle tunes are included: Old Joe Clark, and Devil’s Dream, and Just Before the Battle, Mother, a sentimental ballad from the civil war era, is sandwiched in between the two for contrast. This arrangement was commissioned by the Horace Mann Middle School Orchestra, Charleston, West Virginia, Ian Jessee, Director for a performance at the 2006 American String Teachers Association National Convention in Kansas City, and incidentally the orchestra earned 2nd place in the competition. You will need some competent viollinists in your orchestra to play the exciting Devil’s Dream up to tempo.

Ballet Egyptien - Alexandre Luigini arr. by P Hall            MP3
Difficulty: M (grade 3)   Publ. Code: LudwigMasters 20240024  
The spelling of Egyptien is correct; it is the French spelling. Luigini (1850 to 1906) was an Italian violinist, conductor composer who lived and worked in France. Napoleon had just invaded Egypt and created great interest in the culture of Egypt. Verdi’s well known opera “Aida” was the result of this European interest in Egypt and Luigini followed with his “Ballet Egyptien” (his most well known composition) which he inserted into a performance of Verdi’s opera! Neither composer was able to capture the tonality or the mid-Eastern flavor of Egyptian music (having never heard it!) but the European audiences (as well as today’s audiences) loved what they wrote.

Five different themes are included in this work, and they are all melodic and rhythmic - the kind of melodies you go away singing. Most of the technical challenges are in the first violin part. The conductor will need to work out the best fingerings for some of the more difficult passages. Dynamics, style and bowings are well marked. Luigini is not a great composer, but he certainly did well in writing this piece.

Intermezzo from L’arlesienne Suite - Bizet, arr. by Percy Hall            MP3
Difficulty: M (grade 3)   Publ. Code: 20250011  
Georges Bizet, the well-known 19th century French Composer, is best known for his opera “Carmen,” but perhaps equally well for his two incidental suites, “L’arlesienne.” This “Intermezzo” is taken from his second suite, and is frequently played by symphony orchestras. The beautiful flowing melody has also been set to lyrics with a text from the Catholic Mass “Agnus Dei.” Scoring is for standard string orchestra, but with the addition of a third violin part, which is essential and not a part to support the violas, as is most often the case. It also calls for piano which is not only a supportive accompaniment part, but has some soloistic arpeggios near the end. The piece begins and ends in a somber but dramatic mood, and sandwiched in between is one of the world’s most beautiful melodies. Mature musicianship is required, and performers and audiences will be well rewarded musically and emotionally. Playing in positions is required.

Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring - Bach/Hall            MP3
Difficulty: M (Grade 3)   Publ. Code: 00474  
This is a unique arrangement of this popular piece in that the chorale melody, usually sung by a chorus, has been given to the cello section an octave lower than the original. This voicing is designed to allow the melody to project in a different voice range than the very familiar obligato accompaniment in the violin section. When this occurs the 2nd violin and viola sections are playing supporting parts in the range below the cello voice. This string arrangement offers the opportunity of experiencing this well known piece and of sharing it with the audience.

Marche Militaire No. 1, Op. 51, No. 1 - Franz Schubert arr. by Percy Hall            MP3
Difficulty: MD (grade 3.5)   Publ. Code: LudwigMasters 50250001  
This march is bound to be recognized by orchestra members and audiences. It is one of the most popular and most frequently performed in the concert repertoire. This arrangement makes it possible for string orchestras to experience it. Key signatures are G and D major.

There are lots of very important divisi parts in all voices. Suggested fingerings are supplied in some of the more challenging passages. Marcato and staccato bow strokes are essential for an adequate performance. This well known march will brighten up your rehearsals and would be an outstanding choice for concert, contest or festival.

Marche de Turenne – Jean Baptiste Lully (?) arr. P. Hall
Difficulty: M (grade 3)   Publ. Code: 20250023  
This tune is familiar because Bizet used it in L’Arlesienne Suite, and also because it is sometimes called March of the Kings, referring to the Wisemen or Magi. However, it is thought to be composed in the 17th century by the French composer Lully in honor of the celebrated French military hero, Henri de la Tour d’Auvergne (1611-75) who came from the village of Turenne. It was originally performed by fifes and drums, the instruments of the French military bands. Performance at any time of the year is appropriate since it is really a secular march, but it would be effective for a Christmas concert because of its later association with Christmas pageantry. There are some rhythmic challenges which can be solved with close attention to the bowings which are well marked. This is an excellent choice of literature for competent high school orchestras.

Perpetual Motion - Carl Bohm, arr. P. Hall            MP3
Difficulty: M (Grade 3)   Publ. Code: 00688  
A flashy, encore-type piece composed originally as a violin solo by Carl Bohm who lived at the turn of the 20th century. This arrangement features the entire first violin section on the melody with light accompaniment by the rest of the orchestra, and the accompaniment parts are even interesting to play! This is a very popular string orchestra arrangement. Your orchestra and audiences will love it.

Prelude and Rondeau - Corelli and Mouret, arr. Hall            MP3
Difficulty: M (Grade 3 )   Publ. Code: 00482  
A two movement work by a well known Italian composer, Corelli, and a lesser known French composer, Mouret. They are both from the 17th century and complement each other nicely. The prelude is a lovely cantabile adagio, and the Rondeau (familiar as the theme of the TV series "Masterpiece Theater") is in the style of a processional march. There are several arrangements available for strings of this familiar theme, but this one is very close to the original scoring by Mouret for brass quintet. It is contrapuntal all the way thru requiring independent reading in all parts, but the final result will be well worth the effort.

Selections from Carmen – Bizet, arr. Hall            MP3 (1st movt)            (2nd movt)            (3rd movt)
Difficulty: MD (Grade 3.5)   Publ. Code: 20250702  
Bizet is best remembered for his opera Carmen which still enjoys great popularity today. This arrangement includes just three songs from the opera: Toreador Song, Habanera and Procession of the Toreadors. Solid technique is demanded and position playing in all parts is necessary, and sensitive musical interpretation is expected when playing well known music such as this. Your orchestra members will enjoy the experience and your audiences as well.

The Shepherd King Overture - Mozart/Hall            MP3
Difficulty: MD (Grade 3+)   Publ. Code: 20250002  
The Italian name of this famous opera overture by Mozart is "Il Re Pastore" and it is often played on major symphony concerts. This arrangement offers the opportunity for members of string orchestras to experience this wonderful piece by one of the worlds great classical composers. All of the essential themes have been included with minimal simplifications. Players must be able to execute the bounced bow style to achieve the correct style. It will take a good orchestra to play this piece properly, but it will be well worth the effort.

Slane (Be Thou My Vision) - Irish Ballad arr. by Percy Hall            MP3
Difficulty: M (grade 3)   Publ. Code: 20250008  
This ancient Irish melody will be quite familiar because of the text which has been set to it at a much later date, “Be Thou My Vision.” The beautiful flowing melody has been freely arranged to spotlight the cello section, giving them the melody on the first and third choruses, and a singing countermelody on the second chorus. The cello part calls for 3rd and 4th position playing, and the first violin part also is beyond first position. The key is D major throughout. The program notes cover the interesting history of the tune which enhances its musical value.

Snowfall and Sleighride – Hall            MP3 (Snowfall)            MP3 (Sleighride)
Difficulty: M (Grade 3)   Publ. Code: 00686  
A two movement original work which begins with the orchestra members creating the illusion of a wintry snow storm by creating wind sounds with their breath by saying SHHHH. The instruments enter with a beautiful lyrical melody of falling fourths. The piano part to this opening Snowfall section is optional but really adds to the shimmering close harmonies in the piece. The second movement, Sleighride, is a bouncy tune which passes the melody back and forth between the high and low strings and makes you feel like you are actually on a sleighride. Sleighbells can be added, or a unique effect can be created by having members of the audience shake their key rings. This one is a must for a Christmas concert. It received a wonderful review in the Instrumentalist magazine.

Themes from “ Faust” - Charles Gounod arr. by Percy Hall            MP3
Difficulty: MD (grade 3)   Publ. Code: LudwigMasters 50250002  
Charles Gounod was a prolific French composer in the mid 1800’ s, but he was not well recognized by his peers or the public until his opera Faust was first performed in Paris in 1859. The opera remains today as one of the most dramatic and popular in the repertoire. This arrangement for strings includes three of the themes in the opera; a staccato dance in duple meter, followed by a ballroom waltz in the Viennese style, ending with a grand march.

Keys are G and D major. Cellos need to be comfortable in 3rd and 4th position, and 2nd violins and violas need to play divisi passages. First violins will be challenged by some of the technique but all problems can be solved and will be quite rewarding with sufficient practice. This is music by a master composer that young people should experience.

A Thing-a-ma-Jig - Percy Hall            MP3
Difficulty: M (Grade 3)   Publ. Code: 20250704  
A jig is a 16th entury popular folk dance with Celtic roots most commonly thought of to be Irish in origin. The dancing rhythms in 6/8 meter project a jolly or farcical mood - hence the farcial title of this piece. The principal theme is original, however, in the contrasting section you will recognize a phrase or two of The Campbells are Coming, a familiar Scottish tune. Keys are A and D major. Playing in higher positions is required for cellos, but not for violin or viola, but some challenge of technique is required when taken up to the intended tempo. This is a wonderful selection for the lighter portion of your concert, or as an encore.

Tower Music for Strings - Pezel/Anon. arr. Hall            MP3 (mvt1)            MP3 (mvt2)            MP3 (mvt3)
Difficulty: M (Grade 3)   Publ. Code: 00481  
A suite of three pieces from the early baroque period composed originally for brass ensembles who were employed to play in town towers to signal the various times of the day. The first two: Intrade and Sarabande, are by Johann Pezel and the third (by an anonymous composer) is titled Die Bankelsangerlieder (The Benchsingers Song). These are very popular pieces for brass players and have been transcribed for string orchestra without losing any of the original intent; just changes of key so the parts lie well for strings. They are demanding musically because the first and last movements are entirely contrapuntal calling for independent rhythmic and melodic reading in all voices. Equal demands are on all parts, but the work is worth the effort because the music is so delightful. This is also available for string quintet. Select five of your best players and they will have a ball! Here is a mistake to fix in the bass part of Intrada. In measure 20 all notes should be a line or space higher (up a step).

Traumerei - Schumann/ Hall            MP3            short MP3
Difficulty: M (Grade 3)   Publ. Code: 20250689  
Traumerei by Robert Schumann is one of the most beautiful melodies every written. Freely translated it means dreams. The first violin section has the melody all the way through the piece, and the accompanying voices have interesting melodic parts supplying the harmony. The piece was originally composed for piano in the key of F Major. This arrangement is in the key of G which better suits the strings. This piece is marked grade 3 essentially because a successful performance requires mature tone quality and sensitive musicianship.

Two Gavottes - J.S. Bach arr. by Percy Hall            MP3
Difficulty: M (grade 3)   Publ. Code: 20250012  
Where would the world of music be without the immense library of compositions by J S. Bach? “Two Gavottes” was originally composed for keyboard, and adapts extremely well for string orchestra, string quintet or quartet. The cello part is the only part that requires playing beyond first position, However, while other parts do not extend beyond the range of first position, it is certainly most advantageous to use position playing. Players must all be rhythmically independent and technically proficient to present this as Bach would like it!

The Two Grenadiers - Robert Schumann arr. by Percy Hall            MP3
Difficulty: M (grade 3)   Publ. Code: 20250013  
This arrangement features the cello section playing the melody all the way through, which is very appropriate as it was originally written by Schumann for baritone vocal solo, which puts the melody in the same range as the cello. Position playing is not required in any of the parts. The piece begins in G minor and ends in G major. It is to be played in a marcato style with the exception of a short lyrical section approaching the key change. This arrangement provides a wonderful opportunity to feature the cello section in a setting that is not beyond the abilities of all of the players.

Variations on America, September 2001 – Hall            MP3
Difficulty: M (Grade 3)   Publ. Code: 00684  
A set of four musical pictures of life in our country preceding and following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Part I, titled "Complacency", describes the mindset of most Americans prior to that ill-fated day. II. "Destruction" describes the attacks themselves, using distorted melodic and harmonic material. In part III, "Grieving", the cello section plays the melody in a minor mode, and the conclusion, IV. "Resolve" demonstrates the courage and determination of the American people in the face of this historic tragedy. This grade 3 composition has enjoyed a large number of sales and performances. The orchestra will enjoy the contemporary effects in the section titled "Destruction" such as dissonance, bi-tonality, portamentos and much rubato of tempos. A performance of this work is a moving experience emotionally as well as musically.

William Tell Finale - Rossini, arr. Hall            MP3            short MP3
Difficulty: MD (Grade 4)   Publ. Code: 20250680  
One of the most popular operatic pieces performed today. Basically the only change in this (from the original version for full orchestra) is the key change to G major, and of course the important wind parts are assigned to the strings. This arrangement is intended only for advanced players. It is much more challenging than any of the simplified versions already available. You need a string section capable of ricochet bowings in order to place the tempo where it belongs. Your players will love the challenge and if your orchestra can "cut it" the audience will love it!

“OMEA Class” refers to the assigned difficulty rating on the Ohio Music Educators Association Required List.

Sound samples are provided for some of the arrangements on this site. These are produced as MP3 files, with links noted after those arrangements for which they are available. Many also provide a "short MP3" alternative for those with slower, dial-up connections. While all sound samples are fairly compact, the shorter versions will typically download four to five times faster than their fuller counterparts.

Score samples are also provided for some arrangements. These show the first page (and sometimes several pages) of the score, and are provided in PDF format. You will need to have the Adobe Reader installed to be able to read these files. If you are unsure if you have this capability, click on a score link and see what happens. If you cannot read the file, a free version of the Adobe Reader is available at

How to order:   Many of Percy Hall’s compositions and arrangements were originally published by Great Works Publishing or LudwigMasters Publications, whose catalogs were then purchased by Keiser Southern Music in 2020. While many of these publications are currently out of print, most are listed in the Alfred Music online catalog.

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