Top 10: Violin Collections

November 27, 2013

This list brings together our top-selling violin collections in one place. If you are looking for recital pieces, exam repertoire, gigging music or material for weddings, this list has it all!

1. RCM Violin Series: Third Edition (nine volumes)

RCM Violin SeriesOur list of top-selling violin collections is crowned by almost every volume of the RCM Violin Series. Of course, this series has one distinct advantage over any other publication: every selection among its pages is approved for use in examinations for Canada’s most popular musical accreditation program! This singular advantage aside, the series does offer the benefit to all violinists (whether working toward an exam or not) that the series is properly graded, ensuring that all material in a single volume is at a comparable level. The third edition of the RCM Violin Series includes accompaniment CDs.

2. Solos for Young Violinists (six volumes)

Solos for Young ViolinistsBarbara Barber’s excellent series is also featured among our top sellers. With six volumes in the set, these books are also graded, ensuring that all pieces in a given volume are of comparable difficulty. Intermediate students will find this books especially useful. Accompanying CDs are available for these publications but are sold separately.

3. Twenty Sacred and Spiritual Solos

Twenty Sacred and Spiritual SolosThis book is great for gigging! It contains a useful collection of classical favourites that are appropriate at weddings, banquets, church services, or other gigs at which classical repertoire is desired. Like most collections by Last Resort Music, the pieces in this collection are arranged for variable instrumentation: the solo part can be played on violin, flute, oboe, and other C instruments that read treble clef. This means that the solos do not take full advantage of the violin’s capabilities, but the arrangements are solid and the repertoire selection very thoughtful. If you need a useful gigging book, this is a good place to start.

4. Solos for the Violin Player

Solos for the Violin PlayerSchirmer, the long-standing American publisher with the distinctive yellow covers, has produced a collection like this for virtually every orchestral instrument (none of which have yellow covers, as it happens). This violin collection is suitably advanced to be useful for professionals but easy enough also for skilled amateurs. The contents provide a cross-section of classical favourites that are appropriate for both concerts and gigs. Available with or without an accompanying CD.

5. Disney Solos for Violin (w/CD)

Disney Solos for ViolinIf Disney Songs are Part of Your World, this book screams “You’ve Got a Friend in Me!” With selections from many popular films (including Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Aladdin, The Little Mermaid and more), there’s something here for every Disney fan. The book does not have piano accompaniment; it includes instead a play-along CD. Can You Feel the Love?

6. Sacred Melodies for Violin and Piano

Although one may assume this book is suitable for weddings, Mel Bay’s offering of sacred titles is geared more toward the church soloist. Absent from this book are some wedding staples (like processionals and trumpet tunes) but it does contain some unique pieces suitable for use in the liturgy. There are excerpts from oratorios, like Handel’s Messiah and Mendelssohn’s St. Paul, plus pieces suitable for Christmas and Palm Sunday. This is more a survey that a gigging book but provides a useful assortment that can be used throughout the year.

7. Twenty Traditional Wedding Solos

Twenty Traditional Wedding SolosThis second collection by Last Resort Music is similar to the first but with a greater emphasis on repertoire for weddings. The pieces are arranged for variable instrumentation—the solo part can be played by violin, flute, oboe and other C instruments that read treble clef. The tessitura is sufficiently constricted to suit the varying ranges of these instruments; this is a benefit for the violinists because everything fits comfortably in the middle range!

8. Library of Violin Classics

Certainly the largest collection in this list, The Library of Violin Classics provides more repertoire than any other book here listed. AMSCO has pulled selections from a wide array of style and periods, making this an extremely versatile collection. While the quality of production leans toward the utilitarian, you certainly can’t beat “The Library of…” for value per note!

9. Violin Pieces the Whole World Plays

Violin Pieces the Whole World PlaysHere we have an exhaustive collection of greatest-hits for violin and piano. The range of material is very impressive: all the major composers from Bach to Tchaikovsky are represented. That the book was published in 1916 and remains in print to this day demonstrates the popularity of its contents. That the book is old does mean that repertoire from the 20th century is not well represented, yet it still rivals No. 8 for quantity! The pieces contained herein are best for recital purposes and there are several show-pieces in the mix to round out your set.

10. Complete Book of Wedding Music

This second collection from Mel Bay is designed specifically for wedding use. Included are many of the standard pieces such as famous marches and processionals, trumpet tunes, Schubert’s Ave Maria, and more. It is not a large collection and a few notable pieces are absent (such as the Bach/Gounod Ave Maria) but the printing is very clear and the price is right.

We sell many more violin collections too! Browse our selection in our online store!

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