Some of the most well-known and beloved violin and string pieces come from the Baroque era. Composers such as Vivaldi, Handel and Bach all hailed from this time period which dated from the early 1600s to around 1750. The violin pieces that arose during this era are known to most classical music fans so learning to play them can impress others. As a beginner taking on your first classical solo you will want to choose something easy to start off with.
We’ve put together a list of the easiest Baroque violin sheet music pieces that students can learn and build their skills. The violin acted as a central instrument for most Baroque music, whether it was a solo violin performance or as part of a group. In each piece you will learn a different technique and style that will make all students a more well-rounded beginner to this type of music. Before you jump in to your first concerto, make sure to take a look at the best violin for professionals which can help to enhance your playing.
For every piece we have mentioned in this list we have given you some playing tips as well as an easy music tutorial for each entry. You can find free sheet music online to support your learning or to give to violin students.
1. Pachelbel’s Canon in D
The slurs in the fast section of this piece will really challenge a student’s skill set. Pachelbel’s Canon in D is usually one of the first Baroque era pieces you will learn as a violinist. It uses quick string crosses and clean articulation which make it a great challenge for a beginner. The best way to approach this song is to play the melody without using the slurs to begin with. This will allow you to get to know the notes properly and then you can add in the slurs later on. You can also practice below tempo and then speed it up once you become more confident in the music. What you have to pay real attention to is that you are making a strong connection with the strings of the violin across every string as you are playing the sheet music.
Another thing you should keep an eye out for is using the high third fingers which are placed on the G string. Many beginner violin students won’t have the reach to get to this note which can then result in it sounding a little flat. Finger and hand exercises as part of your violin lessons should allow you to hit these high strings without any issue.
2. Air on the G String
To be able to master this on a solo violin you have to play close attention to the sheet music and master all of the dynamics. The composition has a strong tone and uses long notes so it will really test your overall endurance as a violinist. Bow speed, weight, placement and vibrato are all skills you will be learning with this piece. If you go in with a bow speed that is too fast you won’t be able to hold onto those notes for the required amount of time.
Adding in vibrato is a wonderful technique that helps make the overall sound much warmer. Make sure to master your vibrato because it is something that is used in most violin sheet music. Practice your scales and use vibrato as well as different bow speeds so you can develop the ability to sustain the longer notes needed to master this piece from Bach.
3. Winter from the Four Seasons
The violin plays a huge part in this piece from Vivaldi. This is one of his most famous violin concertos and it can really improve your playing and skills as a violinist. The violin part forms the melody and uses techniques such as pizzicato. You will also need to use syncopation and be familiar with octave patterns if you want to be able to play a concerto like this. This piece is in a key that has flats as well as using the second position on the E and A strings. As a beginner who is taking lessons, this will be a real challenge, but once again they are skills that will make you a better violinist in the long term.
A top tip here is to use three bows on the last note because it’s a really long one and you won’t be able to do it with one bow. We would suggest using three or five so that the note ends with a down bow.
4. Minuet No. 1
Minuet No. 1 is in the key of G major and was composed by Bach. These days it’s the most famous minute from the suite it was originally pulled from and many violin techniques were taken from the sheet music. The composition required that you use hooked upbows. As a beginner student, this is a skill that will usually cause you to play far too fast. Be very cautious of rushing because it could cause you to leave empty spaces between the upbows used throughout the piece. You can get someone else to join in with you for this sheet music as the original was traditionally played with two violins and an accompanying piano.
Now that we have given you a few Baroque era songs to start you out, you may want to explore other music from this time period. It was a time of amazing music, with most of the violin parts being more suited to intermediate and advanced players. Continue with your lessons and eventually, you will be able to play a full concerto from Bach, Handel and any other composer you love. We hope you enjoyed our article and that the video tutorials helped you learn these musical masterpieces.
What is the saddest violin piece?
Many people would consider that the theme from the movie Schindler’s List by John Williams is the saddest piece to play on the violin. The composition earned the artist his fifth Oscar and the soundtrack featured the stunning violin solist, Itzhak Perlman.
What is the most beautiful violin piece?
There are so many amazing pieces of violin playing out there that it’s difficult to choose which one is the most beautiful. The beauty of a song relies on a person’s own preferences so you need to be the judge of what song hits the top of the list for you.
What are the most famous violin pieces?
Famous violin pieces often come from the most known artists and composers such as Mozart, Bach, Beethoven and Vivaldi.
What violin pieces should I play?
The violin pieces you choose to play should be based on your skill level and own personal preference. There is no point in learning a song that you don’t like the sound of because you won’t feel encouraged to play it.