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"Orchestral Excerpts for Intermediate Violinists"


  • Contains 31 famous orchestral excerpts playable mainly in 1st-3rd position or written down an octave.

  • Selections by period, composer and style to teach principles of orchestral playing.

  • Allows developing violinists to directly experience some of the most memorable themes in classical repertoire.

  • Includes historical notes on the eras of classical music, orchestra etiquette, a guide to the special musical terms and notations found only in orchestra music, and part-marking shorthand used by orchestra players.

  • Play-along audio and video files available on the book's companion web page!
  • Available as a downloadable e-book, or order coil-bound print copies.


Orchestral Excerpts for Intermediate Violinists

Standard binding $12.50
Lay-flat coil binding $15.50
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Excerpts include playable sections from these well-known works:
Pachelbel: Canon | Bach: Brandenburg Suite #3 and Orchestral Suite #3 | Handel: Hallelujah Chorus | Mozart: Eine Kleine Nachtmusik and Symphony #40 | Beethoven: Symphonies #5, 6, 7, and 9 | Schubert: "Unfinished" Symphony | Mendelssohn: Italian Symphony | Strauss: Blue Danube Waltz | Smetana: The Moldau | Bizet: L'Arlesienne and Carmen Suites | Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition | Grieg: Peer Gynt Suite | Brahms: Symphony #1 | Mahler: Symphony #1 | Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture and Nutcracker Suite | Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade | Dvorak: New World Symphony | Elgar: Enigma Variations | Stravinsky: The Firebird | Holst: The Planets


Or Choose DIGITAL DOWNLOAD E-BOOK: Buy once, print your own unlimited copies, just $10.00! Delivered in PDF format. Black-and-white contents only, no color printer needed. (not for resale)
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About the Book  

Most intermediate-level violinists don't have the opportunity to play in an orchestra where works such as “Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony” and “The Planets” can be learned and performed as their composers intended. Many of these well-known works have much more difficult sections than the ones excerpted in this book and are not appropriate for violinists who have not yet played much above 3rd position. Because of these roadblocks, the famous themes from these works are seldom experienced and musically enjoyed from the inside by developing violinists. This book is for those players.


All works are presented in chronological order except where grouped together by a composer or theme. The facsimiles included are portions of mostly 1st Violin parts of published professional scores (not simplified arrangements) in the public domain, sourced from IMSLP.org. The 2nd Violin part has been used where it doubles the 1st Violin part but in a lower, more playable octave. A few alternate parts have been written out where an extended sequence is higher than 3rd position. Some E-string notes above 3rd position have been retained to encourage the player to work out new shifting skills. (Playing in school and youth orchestras is where many young musicians first encounter higher shifting.) Bowings and helpful fingerings are generally not marked, since bowings vary by conductor and fingerings are an individual decision. Teachers may choose to add these markings or ask students to come up with preferred options for themselves.


Public-domain recordings (sourced from musopen.org or classiccat.net) of the excerpted part of each classical work are available HERE. The violinist should have the goal of being able to play along with the excerpt, effectively immersing themselves in an orchestral sound environment. Prior to the play-along, the usual tenets of practicing apply: listen to the recording to hear the rhythms and melodies; practice the music slowly, putting together one measure at a time; synthesize the entire excerpt and build tempo to the goal.


Don’t stop here! Listen to an entire movement or work in context. Find a video performance and observe the conductor’s directing and the musicians’ responses. Download the complete violin part(s) from IMSLP.org and see if there are other segments you can play. Keep working on your skills until you can join a youth or community orchestra for a full, live playing experience.



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