String quartet is one of the most venerated chamber ensembles of its kind in the orchestra repertoire. Historically, it has found a place in the courts of kings, the salons of nobility, concert halls and recital venues, and one could argue was the popular music of the day. Hundreds of years later, the string quartet still rocks!
We offer a wide variety of popular string quartet arrangements for every musical taste, and these 10 are a great place to start. They are very challenging but also accessible, even for beginners, so get your string friends together and start jamming!
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The Shape of Water, Alexandre Desplat (arr. Larry Moore)
This warm and melodic score by Alexandre Desplat and its stunning film earned the Oscar as well as many other honors. Movie and music lovers were captivated with the depth and richness of the film and the emotional musical backdrop that accompanied its poignant story.
We Don't Talk About Bruno (from Disney's Encanto), Lin-Manuel Miranda (arr. Robert Longfield)
This infectious mix of salsa and guajira with pop, hip hop, dance and Broadway elements rose to the top of the charts all around the world! Robert Longfield's string quartet arrangement is true to the original, while still making it approachable for younger musicians. Your audience (and students) will definitely be singing along!
The Mandalorian (from Star Wars: The Mandalorian), by Ludwig Göransson (arr. Robert Longfield)
This string quartet arrangement by Robert Longfield of the theme from the popular Star Wars spin-off series has all the rhythmic drive of the original while keeping the music accessible. In D minor, "this is the way" to help your students learn to play F-naturals and B-flats!
The Rise of Skywalker (from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker), by John Williams (arr. Robert Longfield)
From John Williams' 2019 Oscar-nominated score, this string quartet arrangement by Robert Longfield captures the heroic and optimistic character of the original. Beginning in G and ending in C major, Longfield incorporates Williams' beautiful chromaticism to create a piece that will provide a stimulating and rewarding challenge for your students.
Viva La Vida, by Coldplay (arr. Larry Moore)
Coldplay's mega-hit has a prominent string orchestra as part of the its unique sound, captured perfectly in this performance version by Larry Moore. Students love to play current hits that have an orchestral sound mixed with the cutting-edge groove of one of their favorite bands.
Lady Gaga Fugue, by Larry Moore
Music styles four centuries apart collide in this creative "baroque meets techno" treatment of "Bad Romance," one of Lady Gaga's biggest hits. Inspired by the YouTube mega-hit, this fugue-style movement is certain to be the audience pleaser of the year.
Happy, by Pharrell (arr. Robert Longfield)
The talent of Pharrell Williams is dominating the airwaves, the Grammys, and YouTube. This energetic, infectious tune from Despicable Me 2 mixes a little Motown sound with contemporary pop in a delicious blend that's irresistible.
Freedom, by Jon Batiste (arr. Paul Murtha)
Jon Batiste's GRAMMY Award-winning anthem to freedom comes to life in this sparkling G major string quartet arrangement by Paul Murtha. With all the verve and spirit of the original, you'll soon have students doing Batiste's famous dance moves as part of the performance!
Eleanor Rigby, by The Bealtes (arr. Larry Moore)
Rhythmic drive and modal harmonies are just a part of the intrigue of this Beatles classic, known for its revolutionary inclusion of a string quartet with a pop-rock song. Larry Moore gives us a solid arrangement that features the unique blend of the classical and pop-rock style that is the continuing legacy of "Eleanor Rigby."
Jerusalema, by Master KG (feat. Nomcebo Zikode) (arr. Larry Moore)
With over 300 million views, this South African song is one of the most popular videos on YouTube! This D major string quartet arrangement by Larry Moore perfectly captures the infectious ostinato rhythms combined with the smooth melodic lines of the original. It's sure to be a big hit with both your students and your audience!