Musical Arrangements: The Swan

If I am giving myself full credit I have been arranging music since I was a kid. (Lots of people may roll their eyes at this, regardless it is an important first step in learning how to arrange music.) I would play along in church with the hymns when I got good enough to read the notes. Then I learned how to read both Bass and Treble Clefs. And because I wasn’t playing in thumb position yet I had to transpose the melody down one octave. That is an arrangement at the most basic level.

In college, I began composing original works. With all that newfound theoretical knowledge I was able to arrange music when needed.

For example, my brothers and I went to Austria for a summer. There we met a singer. We performed several times together and then agreed to play Panis angelicus by Cesar Franck. I, being the composer at the time was the goto guy for arranging the music. I went to work immediately and a day later produced a fresh copy of Panis angelicus for voice, violin, viola, and cello.

This is my earliest arrangement I recall that turned out to sound like more than just a student’s assignment. It was a bonafide piece of music that sounded like something people would enjoy listening to. (The arrangement is lost but this indelible memory is etched into my brain forever.

“The Swan”: Four Cellos

This famous music is known to millions and played by every cellist on the planet. I have been playing this music since the age of 14. I have performed it more than any other single piece of music (more than Bach’s Prelude in G from Suite No. 1).

Last year I wanted to perform it online but wanted it to be different than the usual piano and cello version. I set to work creating a suitable arrangement with 4 cellos instead. What came out was more delightful that I had anticipated.

Here are some screen shots of each of the accompanying parts as a sneak peek before I release the arrangement for sale.

It was fun to re-create a well-loved and beautiful piece. It is, on one level, the same piece with some alterations but on another level a different piece with a concept in mind for making the rippling effect possible on cello playing pizzicato necessitating a simplification of Part 3.

Supporting my Project

This arrangement is now up for sale at Amazon. Now you can play the quartet version either by yourself or with three of your cello friends! Click here and download for Christmas.

eBook Cover Page

Or, visit my Patreon page. Perhaps it would be more convenient to download a PDF.

Traveling Cello at Patreon

Or make a Donation via Paypal with a note in the description “The Swan” pdf.

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