plucked violin songs
February 6, 2010 11:57 AM   Subscribe

Hi, can someone reccomend a song that heavily consists of plucking a violin or cello please.
posted by sockpim to Media & Arts (25 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
The musical term for what you're looking for is pizzicato. There's lots of it in the songs of Andrew Bird and Owen Pallett (formerly known as Final Fantasy), both of whom are violinists/singers/songwriters.

Final Fantasy - Song Song Song

Andrew Bird - Anonanimal
posted by ludwig_van at 12:12 PM on February 6, 2010 [4 favorites]

Plink, Plank, Plunk
posted by Johnny Assay at 12:13 PM on February 6, 2010

Orion Rigel Dommisse uses a fair amount of pizzicato in many of her songs (cello I think).
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 12:19 PM on February 6, 2010

Not a song, but the first theme of the second movement of Ravel's String Quartet is entirely pizzicato. You can find it on the Royal Tenenbaums soundtrack, but the whole piece is worthwhile, and it's usually paired with Debussy's also excellent string quartet.
posted by invitapriore at 12:28 PM on February 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

This is actually a much better video and performance of what I originally posted.
posted by invitapriore at 12:31 PM on February 6, 2010

Pachelbel's Cannon.

There's a section of Gilbert and Sullivan's "Iolanthe" that has a really neat (fast!) pizz. part. I think it's the "Don't Go" song.
posted by Melismata at 12:35 PM on February 6, 2010

Strauss's Pizzicato Polka
posted by Sys Rq at 12:40 PM on February 6, 2010

King Crimson - Prelude: Song of the Gulls
posted by Sys Rq at 12:46 PM on February 6, 2010

posted by knile at 1:13 PM on February 6, 2010

Kronos Quartet: Tashweesh.

Popmatters says this about the song:
Tashweesh, a collaboration between Kronos Quartet and a Palestinian electronic collective called Ramallah Underground. As the fuzzy beats and staticky notes of Ramallah Underground’s half of the composition form the backdrop, the strings pick and pluck their way through an intro that threatens to turn into hip-hop but never actually does.

posted by el io at 1:16 PM on February 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

Andrew Bird - Imitosis

More at Wikipedia.
posted by Jaltcoh at 1:21 PM on February 6, 2010

Paganini's 24th Caprice. It's probably one of the hardest pieces of music to play ever written for the violin, so I hope you're not asking for your own repertoire :) (unless you're Joshua Bell or something).
posted by Salvor Hardin at 1:22 PM on February 6, 2010

Yumeji's Theme from Wong Kar-Wai's movie In the Mood for Love. There are a few more songs from the same soundtrack that have similar parts, but I think that it's most prominent in Yumeji's Theme.
posted by andeles at 1:28 PM on February 6, 2010

My very favorite is the Passacalle from Boccherini's Quintettino op.30, No.6, La musica notturna della strade di Madrid. The plucking serves as intro, and then is background behind the cello and violin. The Passacalle is my favorite part due to the combo of the plucking and the exquisite cello, but the whole piece is so lovely. It moves from stately and pleasant to tender and beautiful to fun and carefree (that's the plucky part) and finally to regal and grand.

Here it is set over scenes from Master and Commander.
Here's the Master and Commander actors playing it in the movie for some nice pluck visuals.
And here are some amazing students doing the whole piece - the plucky part doesn't start until 4:35. I can't believe how good these kids are.

The very best version, even better than the version in Master & Commander, is by the Berlin Philharmonic. So smooth and polished. Hear the sample here and download for just 99 cents! I'm struck for the first time what a bargain a masterpiece is at 99 cents. This is just the Passacalle at 2 min 50 in length. But you could download the other four parts around it too.
posted by Askr at 1:31 PM on February 6, 2010

Someone beat me to Andrew Bird, but I would second that with recommending his track "Action/Adventure" - plucking right from the start.

Grieg's music for Peer Gynt has a bunch of pizz, Nutcracker comes to mind as well (dance of the sugarplum fairies?)
posted by bobbyno at 1:50 PM on February 6, 2010

The third movement of Tchaikovsky's 4th symphony has the strings playing entirely in pizzicato.
posted by xiaoyi at 2:51 PM on February 6, 2010

Best answer: Julie-O, by Mark Summer of the Turtle Island String Quartet. I wasn't able to find the original recording on Youtube, but this is a pretty good rendition.
posted by castlebravo at 3:07 PM on February 6, 2010

If you're looking for pop songs, anything Andrew Bird.
posted by chicago2penn at 3:41 PM on February 6, 2010

"Holiday for Strings"
Bonus: Lawrence Welk Edition!
posted by cosmicbandito at 4:24 PM on February 6, 2010

Two pieces used in the Master and Commander soundtrack feature pluckin' & strummin':

Violin Concerto, No. 3: "Strassburg" K. 216, 3rd Movement
La Boccherini la Musica Notturna Delle Strade Di Madrid No. 6, Op. 30
posted by trinity8-director at 5:06 PM on February 6, 2010

XTC's River of Orchids has pizzicato (violin and cello, I think) as major instruments.
posted by scruss at 7:32 PM on February 6, 2010

I'm pretty sure that Warehouse by Dave Matthews Band has some.
posted by supramarginal at 6:26 AM on February 7, 2010

Tom Waits Oily Night.
posted by otolith at 10:26 AM on February 7, 2010

"Michigan Girls" - Califone
posted by ifjuly at 12:45 PM on February 7, 2010

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