For String orchestra (Grade 3)
By Gary Edwards
Basses Rule is a Bass(es) solo with string orchestra accompaniment for high school or good middle school string orchestra or string quintet. It was written to motivate and feature the bass section of a string orchestra. The 1st section starts off with a four bar introduction by the violin, viola and cellos. The bass(es) come in with a pickup to the plaintive A theme. After 8 bars the Violins I and I repeat the A melody. The bass(es) then come in again with the B theme. The accompaniment is in classical style but has a driving accented 1 and 2 beat 8th note rhythm while the violas play a pulsating dotted quarter and 8th note rhythm. The accompaniment is in a style favored by young performers.
The 2nd section is a faster Allegro, featuring the violins on a syncopated sixteenth note rhythm, accompanied by a walking 8th note bass pattern. The basses, too, get a chance to play some sixteenth notes, strengthened by the cellos duplicating the final part of the melody dominated by the bass. Section 2 then transforms into a brief four bar fugue theme introduced by the basses, and repeated by the other sections, evolving into the 3rd section featuring a beautiful 3/4 waltz theme introduced by the bass section. The waltz A theme then is taken over by the violas and cellos in a brief two part contrapuntal canon style, followed by a new beautiful waltz B theme featuring the basses. The final section features the basses again in a repeat of the first section but only faster.
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