opensound: writing for string quartet with Christopher Fox

Sam Corcoran

Sound and Music news
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Image credit:
Sally Trussler
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Thursday 17 November

6-7pm

Free online workshop open to all composers.
The string quartet remains a fascinating and rewarding ensemble for composers to explore. Christopher Fox has been writing string quartets for more than 40 years, and listening to them for even longer, so he is well placed to introduce you to the creative potential of the medium. He will sketch in the history of the string quartet, from its beginnings in the 18th century with that great innovator, Joseph Haydn, through its shift from private to public music-making in the 19th century, to the exciting new sounds discovered by Bartok and Xenakis in the 20th century.The last few decades have seen an ever greater diversity of approaches – string quartets playing pop music, specialist string quartets that only play music by living composers, string quartets playing in non-standard tunings – and you will be able to hear why and how these possibilities can work so well. The string quartet can be intimate or grand, light or serious; you will discover how, over and over again, musicians have managed to make the same four instruments – two violins, viola and cello – sound so different.

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