If we are to be technical about this then a “String quartet, is a musical composition for two violins, viola, and cello in several (usually four) movements. It has been the predominant genre of chamber music since about 1750.” according to the Encyclopedia Britannica.
Possibly the most famous contemporary string quartet is the Vitamin String Quartet.
They record covers of pop music. My own personal favourite would be their cover of ‘Somewhere Only We Know” by Keane. Have a listen!
Well you might have guessed it already because it in the name. Typically, you’ll find a trio made up of a violin, viola and cello. There are some considerations to keep in mind though.
1. The repertoire available for a string trio is less than for a string quartet
2. The volume and density of sound is not as rich
3. Cost for a string trio is less 😊
String Quartets in Ireland can play a variety of events and occasions including:
– Wedding Ceremonies
– Champagne Receptions
– Corporate Events
– Private Functions or Parties
Normally you will be able to find the testimonials for a quartet on their own website. Another good place to find their reviews is on their Google listing. All you have to do is a quick search for the name of the quartet, and you should be able to view their reviews.
Professional string quartets in Ireland will normally dress in black tie for your event. If you are having particular theme to your event, then this is something that a quartet might be able to facilitate.
It is best to find a quartet that is based locally. This will reduce the cost of hiring the quartet. That said a string quartet in Dublin will typically travel up to 2 hours from Dublin. The further a quartet has to travel the greater the cost will be due to fuel costs and extra time needed.
A well-organized quartet will aim to arrive 1 hour in advance of your event. This will be enough time to allow the quartet to setup. If you are hiring a string quartet for a wedding in Ireland, then this will also be ample time for the quartet to be in place for when your guests start to arrive.
This will not be a problem for the quartet to resolve. This is something that quartets encounter now and again. In this case they will arrange for a deputy to fill in for the missing musician.
A string quartet will need roughly 2 metres by 3 metres to setup. This area should be flat surface with good light.
The simple answer to this is YES! Once the weather is good enough and you can provide some shade then quartets can play outdoors. If it is sunny then some shade will be needed. This is to protect musicians and their instruments from direct sunlight.
If the weather is bad, then even the use of a tent will probably not do. String instruments such as violins don’t like damp conditions. It is best in this scenario to have a backup plan.
A quartet will need four armless chairs to sit on. A venue will almost always be able to provide this.
This is a common scenario. String quartets will provide you with a quote that includes the travel time needed between the different locations.
This is totally at your own discretion. The quartet would be thankful though for a cup of tea or coffee. If you hire a string quartet for your wedding ceremony, reception and meal then it would be thoughtful to include them in the meal arrangements with your venue.
This is not necessary for wedding ceremonies or parties. However, for bigger corporate events then they might need to arrange with the light and sound team on this.
As a rule of thumb, a quartet will cost from roughly €600. This will then depend on the length of time required, the distance that is travelled and if special musical requests are required. You may also pay extra for more established quartets that are in high demand.
When you ask for a quote from a string quartet then travel fees will be included. Sometimes this will be detailed on your quote. Otherwise, it will be included in the total hiring cost.
Prices vary depending on the type of wedding ceremony you are having. Civil wedding ceremonies are slightly cheaper. If the quartet are based your locality then the cost will be more competitive also.
For example a string quartet based in Cork that are to play for your wedding in Cork then the following should be a rough estimate –
Yes, you will be required to pay a deposit to secure your date. This can range from €50 up to €200. Some quartet will take online payments while others might ask for a bank transfer.
Ideally you should book your date as early as you can. If you are hiring a quartet for a wedding ceremony popular bank holiday weekends tend till fill up 12 months out. If you are having a mid-week wedding, then you will find that quartets will have greater availability. For evening corporate events string quartet should have good availability.
Prices that you are quoted can vary for different reasons: distance that the quartet has to travel, the date that you would like to book and the popularity/experience of the quartet.
Yes, string quartets can be hired to play for wedding reception. In fact many couples opt to hire a string quartet for both their ceremony and reception. It is better value for money to have the quartet play for both. It also is nice as it brings a consistency to the music for the day part of the wedding.
Each quartet will be able to detail this for you. If you have booked a quartet and subsequently you need to cancel, then the booking deposit is generally lost. In the case where you need to reschedule your event date then a quartet should be happy to transfer your booking deposit to the new date. That is on the understanding that the quartet are available for the new date.
Absolutely! You will find that quartets are available to hire for all types of events. Quartets are a popular option for graduation ceremonies, corporate parties and even can be hired for television productions. Not to mention being asked to record backing tracks for other musicians looking for a string ensemble.
All details can be arranged with the string quartet by phone, email or Zoom. There’s no necessity to have to meet face to face. You will be able to view the string quartet’s repertoire on their website. You can choose your music from this.
String quartet music for weddings will normally consist of a mixture of popular and classical music for these types of events. If you have a particular preference, then a good quartet should be able to accommodate this.
This is possible but the sheet music needs to be available. Sometimes if the sheet music is not available then the quartet might be able to put together their own arrangement. There may be a charge for this service.
Yes, once the sheet music is available then this should not be an issue.
This is possible and can add a nice ambiance to your event.
There is a wide variety of music to choose from. All good string quartets should be able to play the following pieces:
That’s easy – can go to ChurchMusic.ie string quartet page for ideas. You can listen to the string quartets audio and video clips and get some inspiration there.
String quartets often accompany singers. If this is something that you are interested in they should be able to recommend a singer that they work with on a regular basis. They will be able to send some samples as well for you to listen to.
If you would like the quartet to accompany a singer that you’ve hired indepently then make sure and put them in contact. Between the singer and the quartet they will be able to arrange the finer details.
Additionally if you hoping to have a friend or relative sing a piece then the quartet should be able to accompany them.
It would be recommended to start thinking about your music for your event roughly 6 months in advance. Generally the quartet won’t need the final selection until one month in advance.
You will need select 7-8 pieces of music for a traditional church ceremony:
– Lighting of the Candles
– Sign of Peace
– Communion X 2
– Signing of The Register
For a civil wedding ceremony, you will need 4-5 pieces. Here’s a possible choice
– Candles (or similar)
– Between Readings
– Signing of Register
When you hire a quartet for your wedding then this is the only booking the quartet can take for that day. As a result, the quartet have to charge you for a day rate.
String quartets in Ireland are familiar with playing at catholic wedding ceremonies. It is understood though that the ceremony should start roughly on time (within 15 minutes of the arranged start time).
It is not necessary for a string quartet to attend a wedding rehearsal. Quartets are experienced and understand the format of a wedding ceremony. If there is some important point that needs to be made, then this can be discussed with the quartet on the day with the celebrant.
The quartet will touch base with the celebrant and the photographer on the day. It is typically the photographer whom gives the nod on the day to signal the start of the ceremony. The photographer will be with the bride at the entrance to the wedding ceremony.
When this is the case then the quartet will adjust the length of the piece on the day to suit. They are used to doing this as no two processionals are exactly the same. They will finish the music at the most appropriate point.
Once plenty of notice (ideally 3 months) is given then this can be arranged.
Do you charge extra for a rehearsal with the vocalist / solo instrument?
Typically, the quartet will only need to rehearse on the day with the musician. They will arrange to arrive a little before to have a run through. If there needs to be a rehearsal in advance then the quartet will need to charge for this.
Normally a quartet will plan to play for 20 minutes before the arranged start time.
It is reasonable that the wedding may start a few minutes late. However, anything over 30 minutes of a late start may incur an extra charge. Make sure and read any booking conditions to find this out.
You only need to select one piece for the recessional. If you wanted a 2nd particular piece of music played then you might like to ask the quartet and they should be able to facilitate this.
The more notice that you can give the better. If you can provide 24 hours notice this should suffice. It is best to ring the contact number as well as sending an email enquiry.
A quartet can play all of the regular pieces of church music for a funeral. The quartet should have a suggested list of pieces that they can play. If you are looking for a particular piece then once the sheet music is available then they will be able play it even with such short notice.
The charge for a funeral ceremony should be in the region of €600 – €700. The cost will vary depending on where the quartet have to travel from.
Yes, string quartet regularly play with other musicians. If you contact them they should be able to arrange a singer as well.