POP QUARTETS FOR ALL
Arranged by Michael Story
Published by Alfred Music © 2008
Reviewed by Vince Corozine
Pop Quartets for All is a collection twelve pop songs playable on any four instruments or any number of instruments in ensemble.
Each book is in score form, showing the four parts written on four staves. The songs are progressive in difficulty from Grade 1 to Grade 4, with no page turns required. Each song is approximately sixteen measures in length.
The songs are written for all instruments of the band, with extra parts for stringed instruments. The strings must play in mostly flat keys throughout the keys of one, two and three flats. This can be challenging for beginning string players.
The tempos vary from Rock, bright swing, ballad, and march. The ranges for the instruments are comfortable. However in the violin parts it is always helpful to remind players to avoid the nasal quality of open strings by including a (4) above the open A and E on the violin for example. Covered notes are much mellower and less harsh to the ear than are the high open strings.
The ranges are comfortable as the Bb trumpet and baritone horns (T.C.) are required to play up to an A above the staff. Dynamics and articulations are clearly marked. The alto sax (Eb saxes and Eb clarinet) extend up to a D above the staff. The flute (piccolo) part extends to a high F above the treble clef, while one song ends on a high G above the staff.
The Bb clarinet/bass clarinet book would be more beneficial if all the third and fourth parts remained below the break, so post-beginners could play along. Numerous chromatic passages are in the third and fourth parts that will demand careful attention.
The songs include: “Summertime,” “Celebration,” “We Are Family,” “Batman (TV Theme),” “Imperial March,” “Theme from Ice Castles”(Through the Eyes of Love), “Jump,” “It Don’t Mean a Thing,” “James Bond Theme,” “Smooth,” “Gonna Fly Now,” and “Peter Gunn.”
These songs work well for post-beginning students. Each book retails at $6.95 each.
Vince Corozine Music , Author of “Arranging Music for the Real World” by Mel Bay Publications