As we continue to move onward into the 21st century, every year it seems that more and more designs, tools, and professions are being replaced by automated or digital improvements. DJs have replaced many live bands, cell phones handle the traditional functions of landlines and desktop computers, and self-driving cars are well on their way to easing the traffic woes of urban landscapes. Yet along the way it is also being discovered that some of the traditional methods still hold a great and inherent value, and when compared to their automated counterpart still come out far above the competition, and in no other musical field is this more present than when it comes to classical string ensembles. Evolved and refined for hundreds of years throughout Europe and by now the entire world, string quartet & trio performances remain as one of the most unique and beautiful ways to bring music to life, from Beethoven to Bowie and everything in between. Here we’ll take a look at the specific characteristics that make string ensembles so special, and why they are often the best accent to make the perfect wedding, city engagement, or corporate event.
- Live Performances are Far Higher Quality than Recordings
As recorded music has taken over most of the spaces that we inhabit, many people have likely never had the pleasure to experience a string ensemble performing live. High-quality recordings and top notch speakers may be able to recreate a semi-faithful representation, but experiencing a quality string ensemble performance goes well beyond just the music being played. From instruments carefully crafted and designed to resonate beautifully in any room to instrumental interplay between players that exists only in that single moment, there is a magic that accompanies live string ensemble performances that simply cannot be recreated. String ensembles’ music has a certain three-dimensionality to it’s performance that as of yet just cannot be executed through speakers, and this unique quality is what keeps such a classical form of performance relevant in the digital age, and allows an ensemble performance to add a unique degree of quality to an occasion. Music can be a truly magical force, and a quality string quartet performance will leave your guests absolutely spellbound!
2. Performance can be Highly Customized
Being one of the older forms of music still being played, string quartets and trio often get the bad wrap of an antiquated performance style that has little modern relevance and just plays “boring classical music.” This really couldn’t be any further from the truth! Although most all ensembles and performers maintain a vast collection of classical repertoire, they also have been hard at work adapting to new styles of music and learning countless new arrangements of modern songs all the way up to today’s Top 40. Not only that, but performers also have the ability and skillset to customize pieces of music for a specific occasion. It’s no uncommon thing to receive requests in the tone of “I’d like to walk down the aisle to the opening of “Canon in D,” but when I arrive at the altar start playing the chorus to Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now.” String ensemble performers aren’t just song deliverers that only know the commands “play” and “stop,” and when you need custom arrangements of you favorite music can do much better than a busy groom with free MP3 editing software!
3. Established Professional Standard Inherent in the Style Itself
With many forms and styles of music performance, there is often a perceived sliding scale of quality. A rock n’ roll cover band can be anything from a show-stopping powerhouse to a collection of inebriated amateurs at the local dive bar. This situation can be related to most all performing groups that we witness in our daily lives, yet string ensembles stand a bit apart from such generalizations. Whereas we all know a fair number of people who have learned guitar, piano, or singing and can feel their way around a song, violinists, violists, and cellists don’t exactly fit into that camp. Part of this stems from the inherently higher challenge it takes to learn these instruments properly, but also from the fact that many of the avenues towards learning them involves years of private instruction and more often than not a college degree in their performance. These and other details create a setting where by and large most string ensembles foster an incredibly high standard of quality, yet don’t require the extra $2000 that a cover band may require to deliver that quality to you and your event while still giving an amazing performance by skilled, college-educated professional performers. So when considering if live music with a string ensemble is right for your big upcoming event, fear not that you may accidentally hire the “dad’s cover band” equivalent of your favorite classical music, and that going down the path of a string quartet or trio is a near-assurance of a standard of quality that has existed for centuries.
4. Exceptionally Wide Variety of Styles Able to be Played
As was briefly mentioned at the onset of this article, string ensembles can offer a far wider variety of styles than most people realize. Though they were created during the classical music period, such constraints affect hardly a fraction of the working ensembles playing today. A single skilled group can seamlessly move from classical repertoire to country, jazz, rock, and pop arrangements with ease, even touching on folkloric styles like Irish, Jewish or Italian music if the players happen to already have their hands on the appropriate sheet music. Thus a string ensemble often can end up being the “one-size-fits-all” music group for many occasions, even if Western classical music isn’t even among the requests.
5. Cost Can be Surprising - In the Good Way!
After all of these numerous points, one would likely be going with the assumption that to hire a quality string ensemble of any arrangement will end up being a hefty, costly investment. Often times the reality is just the opposite! Given that string ensembles have such an established mark of quality and there are very few groups that would qualify as amateur, the prices of a string ensemble tend to be rather reasonable and semi-uniform across many different markets and regions. Obtaining a quality performance for under $1,500 is completely within reason, and here at Gigroster we even go so far as to have our in-house specials that start at a modest $495 for string trio and $650 for quartet, thus putting them well under the price of even most DJs.
6. Most Performers offer Multi-group Deals
Although a string ensemble may seem like a hyper-specialized kind of performance group, one may be surprised at how often an ensemble will offer a specialty deal to include a DJ, band, or other alternative ensemble such as latin trio at a discount included with the hiring of the string ensemble. Like most kinds of musicians, string players are often times multi-skilled performers capable of playing in other styles and instruments, and are no strangers to the reality that just a string ensemble is rarely the only music needs that an event will have. Thus it becomes easy to include a DJ service at a steep discount when the DJ was the viola player! Here at Gigroster we have a number of specials that work exactly this way, bundling alongside a string group a wedding band, DJ, or other standard event or wedding music performance group. But we aren’t geniuses who invented the idea, as it’s a standard practice among professional musicians who have learned the benefits of keeping all of an event’s performances “in-house” from the originally hired group. So next time you worry that the cost of hiring a number of groups or performers might be a little steep for your event’s budget, don’t hesitate to reach out to your event planner, ensemble leader or Gigroster consultant and ask what multi-group options might be available.
With these and so many more good reasons to look into hiring a quality string group for your upcoming wedding or other type of special event, the choice should be easy if you're looking to bring into the fold a collection of musicians who will deliver class, beauty, and something distinctly live about your event. Here at Gigroster.com we are very accustomed at working with clients needing detailed specifics about their weddings or other events, so don't hesitate to reach out to one of our agents today and see what could be in store for you!
Subscribe to GigBlogster™
Get the latest posts delivered right to your inbox