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Thread: Ensemble pieces for beginners

  1. #1
    Registered User Dean Gray's Avatar
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    Default Ensemble pieces for beginners

    Hi folks, I have started a community mandolin orchestra and at the moment I have more beginners than experienced players. Does anyone have suggestions for pieces that work well for new players?
    I have a couple of great players who can cover melodies/mandolin 1 parts but need charts that are simple and mainly open strings/1st position for the new players.

    Any suggestions or links would be much appreciated!

    Thanks.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Ensemble pieces for beginners

    Try contacting Robert Schulz from the Western Australia Mandolin Orchestra. He has done a good deal of work in this area.

  3. #3
    Registered User Dean Gray's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ensemble pieces for beginners

    Quote Originally Posted by barbaram View Post
    Try contacting Robert Schulz from the Western Australia Mandolin Orchestra. He has done a good deal of work in this area.
    Thanks Barbaram, I will do.

  4. #4
    Registered User Martin Jonas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ensemble pieces for beginners

    You may also want to look at the arrangements by the late (and much missed) Evelyn Tiffany-Castiglioni, which cover a wide range of genres. All of them are arranged for three parts (two mandolins and either octave mandolin or mandocello), plus chord symbols for additional ad hoc accompaniment. They all fit onto one or two pages and make wonderful beginners' ensemble pieces.

    There are three "Big Books" and multiple other collections of her arrangements available on Amazon (link). In addition, Evelyn herself generously posted a large number of her arrangements for free download here on the Cafe. See:

    Link 1

    Link 2

    Link 3

    Martin

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Ensemble pieces for beginners

    John Goodin writes very fine music, and some pieces have quite accessible parts. You also might look at some early Mozart quartets, where most of the action is in the upper parts, with basic root movement, scale and arpeggio lines in the cello.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Ensemble pieces for beginners

    Hi, Dean,

    I have a couple of arrangements of 18th c. country dances that I made for a local mandolin ensemble that I would be happy to send to you if you PM me an email address.

    Barry

  7. #7
    mando-evangelist August Watters's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ensemble pieces for beginners

    In my view, Andy Boden has made a huge contribution to the mandolin ensemble world, with easily-accessible arrangements.
    Exploring Classical Mandolin (Berklee Press, 2015)
    Progressive Melodies for Mandocello (Amazon, 2019)
    New Solos for Classical Mandolin (Hal Leonard Press, 2020)

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  9. #8
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    Default Re: Ensemble pieces for beginners

    Quote Originally Posted by August Watters View Post
    In my view, Andy Boden has made a huge contribution to the mandolin ensemble world, with easily-accessible arrangements.
    I used some of Andy's music (along with yours of course) for my solo Mandocello music workshop. I had not seen his ensemble stuff, guess I'll have to look again.
    Thanks August.

  10. #9
    Registered User Dean Gray's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ensemble pieces for beginners

    Thanks everyone for the suggestions and sorry for the late reply. Barry I will pm you as soon as I figure out how to do that!

  11. #10
    Registered User Dean Gray's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ensemble pieces for beginners

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Jonas View Post
    You may also want to look at the arrangements by the late (and much missed) Evelyn Tiffany-Castiglioni, which cover a wide range of genres. All of them are arranged for three parts (two mandolins and either octave mandolin or mandocello), plus chord symbols for additional ad hoc accompaniment. They all fit onto one or two pages and make wonderful beginners' ensemble pieces.

    There are three "Big Books" and multiple other collections of her arrangements available on Amazon (link). In addition, Evelyn herself generously posted a large number of her arrangements for free download here on the Cafe. See:

    Link 1

    Link 2

    Link 3

    Martin
    Thanks Martin, I just had a look at Evelyn's music - what a great resource she shared with us!

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  13. #11

    Default Re: Ensemble pieces for beginners

    Hi, Dean, I sent you a message with my email address. If you click the Settings link at the top of the Forum page in the black bar you should see your inbox there.

    Best,

    Barry

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