String Musicians

What is a string quartet?

What is a string quartet?

A string quartet is a classical chamber music ensemble consisting of four stringed instruments, typically consisting of two violins, a viola, and a cello. 

Each instrument plays a distinct role within the ensemble, contributing to the overall texture and harmony of the music.

First Violin: The first violin typically carries the melody, playing the highest pitches and often featuring intricate passages and ornamentation. It serves as a focal point for the ensemble, leading the other instruments in terms of dynamics and phrasing.

Second Violin: The second violin provides support to the first violin, often playing harmonies, countermelodies, or filling in the texture with complementary lines. While it may not always have the spotlight, the second violin is crucial in providing depth and richness to the ensemble’s sound.

Viola: The viola plays an intermediary role within the quartet, situated between the high-pitched violins and the lower cello. It often provides the inner harmonies and fills out the middle register, adding warmth and depth to the ensemble’s sound.

Cello: The cello typically plays the lowest pitches in the string quartet, providing a solid foundation with its rich and resonant tones. It often carries the bassline, providing rhythmic stability and serving as a anchor for the ensemble’s sound.

String quartets are known for their versatility and ability to perform a wide range of musical styles, from classical masterpieces by composers such as Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven, to contemporary works and arrangements of popular music. They are highly valued for their intimate and nuanced performances, showcasing the expressive capabilities of string instruments in a small ensemble setting. 

Additionally, string quartets are commonly employed for various events such as weddings, receptions, corporate functions, funerals, wakes and concerts, due to their ability to provide sophisticated and elegant musical accompaniment.

Hire Australia’s leading string quartet for your next function

Our Australian string quartet has performed for over 2,500 functions and corporate events across Australia. 

Some of our corporate clients include Mercedes Benz, BMW and Aston Martin. 

We’ve received over 150 five-star Google reviews from thankful clients. 

We recommend clients hire our string quartet, as it affords the most robust and sonorous harmonies. The majority of songs that we perform are composed specifically for string quartet, ensuring a richness that might be diminished in string trios or string duos. Opting for a quartet guarantees the preservation of intricate harmonies and dynamic musical elements that might otherwise be lost in smaller ensembles.

Listen to our string quartet recordings

We have over 200 sample recordings of our string quartet, ranging in genre from baroque, classical and romantic, to tangos, jazz, contemporary and modern film music. 

If you have a special request, let us know and we’ll arrange it for string quartet at no additional cost! 

Alternative options for those on a budget

For those seeking more budget-friendly options, we provide alternatives such as string trios, string duos and solo violin or solo cello options. A string trio comprises three instruments: two violins and a cello, offering a harmonious blend with slightly fewer musicians than a quartet. Meanwhile, a string duo consists of two instruments—a violin and a cello—delivering an intimate yet elegant musical experience ideal for smaller venues or more modest gatherings. These configurations retain the essence of classical string music while accommodating varying budgetary considerations, ensuring that clients can still enjoy the enchanting sounds of live string performances within their financial parameters.

The musical repertoire available for a string duo is somewhat limited, making a violin and cello duo ideal for short and intimate engagements, with only select classical pieces suited for this configuration. We suggest considering a string duo for bookings lasting no more than an hour. 

However, for a more expansive and harmonically rich experience, a string trio presents a superior alternative to the duo, incorporating the second violin part to introduce an additional layer of harmony.

More about the instruments

Violins are the smallest out of the three instruments, and as a result, the sound produced is the highest pitch. Violins are played on the shoulder, with strings G, D, A and E. The viola is also played on the shoulder, but it is larger. As a result, the sound is lower pitched than the violin, with strings C, G, D and A. On the violin, the G is the lowest string, and on the viola, the C is the lowest string. The strings that are shared on the violin and viola are G, D and A. They are the same pitch on the viola and violin. While the viola has an extra C string on the bottom for lower notes, the violin has an extra E string on the top, allowing for higher notes. The cellos is the largest of the three fore-mentioned instruments, and is held between the cellist’s legs. The strings on the cello are the same as the viola (C, G, D and A) but because of the longer length of the strings and larger area inside the instrument for resonance, it is pitched an octave lower. Though a string quartet consists of two violins, a viola and cello, there is another instrument which can be added to make a string quintet. This is the double bass. The double bass is much larger than the cello, and so the double bassist often either stands or sits on a high stool to play the instrument. The double bass has the same strings as the violin, but in the opposite order (instead of G, D, A, E going upwards in pitch, they are E, A, D, G). As a result, the strings on the double bass are a 4th interval apartment, rather than a 5th apart, as is on the violin, viola and cello.

Amplification options 

We usually perform acoustically as a string quartet, string trio or string duo, however many of our clients have organised amplification to allow our sound to travel further. This can simply be done with microphones on stands setup near our instruments. Alternatively, we can also increase the size of the string band by having extra musicians per part. For example, hiring eight musicians would allow two musicians per part. That would comprise of 2 x 1st violins, 2 x 2nd violins, 2 x violas and 2 x cellos. This will add much more sound and a more impressive look. It effectively changes the small ensemble to become a small orchestra.

Our string quartet prices

All our prices are shown on our website. 

Prices include GST and travel time from the CBD. 

Book your string quartet today

Transform your event into an unforgettable experience by incorporating the sophisticated melodies of our esteemed string quartet.

Simply complete our online booking form and we’ll respond within 24 hours.

We look forward to performing for you and your esteemed guests, creating cherished memories that will resonate long after the final note.