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ENSEMBLE CHOICES

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What do I choose??‚Äč

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The String Quartet

When one thinks about string instruments, it is most common to envision a string quartet. This is the most common string ensemble used in classical music, and therefore also in weddings, church services, and even movies.  This combination of two violins, one viola, and one cello was said by Sir Jeffrey Tate, the knighted British conductor, to be the "most perfect expression of human behavior." 

The cello provides the low, bass line. The viola usually provides the mid-range notes, but can sometimes have the melody. The first violin typically takes the melody, leaving the second violin to fill out the harmony and create the full, rich tone associated with the string quartet. GSS has our largest selection of music available for string quartet, and it is perfect for any type of event, indoors or outdoors, of any size. 

Pictured: A GSS string quartet at Wesleyan University Chapel in Middletown, CT.

The String Trio

The string trio is another option. It consists of one violin, one viola, and one cello. The ensemble is still complete with a low, middle, and high instrument. The difference is that there is no second violin to add harmony and lushness to the ensemble. Having a total of three people instead of four gives you a beautiful sound with a little cheaper package. However, the song list isn't quite as large due to the constraints of a smaller ensemble, and the overall sound has a little less volume.  See the examples at the bottom of this page to compare the sound of the string quartet and string trio.

Pictured: A GSS string quartet at the Blithewold Mansion in Portsmouth, RI

String Duo & Other Options

The string duo consists of just two instruments, a high and a low. While you still get the beautiful sound of strings, this is considered a "bare bones" ensemble, and therefore the list of music is limited. Various other combinations are available upon request. This is particularly useful for church weddings and masses, where we may need to integrate with musicians already employed by the church. We can also provide a church organist or cantor along with any of our groups when requested. 

Below are some comparisons. Please also click here to see many more examples.

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Quartet vs. Trio - "A Thousand Years"

Quartet


Trio


Quartet vs. Trio - "Ave Maria"

Quartet


Trio


Quartet vs. Trio - "Hallelujah"

Quartet


Trio