About the Music
Chamber music teachers around the world have expressed a pressing need for
new high quality works for beginning and intermediate string quartets. The
Quartet Project meets that need with a wealth of exciting new music for quartets
of all ages and abilities. International response to The Quartet Project has been
enthusiastic. See what people are saying.
Level of Difficulty
The Quartet Project is divided into six volumes, each containing approximately
40 minutes of music. Volume 1 is for beginners, suitable for players at roughly
the level of Suzuki Book 2 and above. The first two volumes can be played in
first position throughout. Unison passages and homophonic writing (rhythmic
unison) abound. From there, the music grows more demanding, in terms of
both individual technique and ensemble skills. Volume 6 is roughly equivalent
in difficulty to a Bartók or middle Beethoven quartet.
Optional Violin 3
Since young violists can be scarce, Volumes 1, 2, and 3 include an optional third violin part, which can be used in place of a viola. It
is always preferable to use a viola if that option exists.
About the Music
The Quartet Project offers beginning string quartets a chance to taste the harmonies, textures, and rhythms of today’s music. Clearly-
defined themes and engaging melodies are the building blocks of The Quartet Project. For the most part, key signatures are not used.
While triadic harmonies and modal thinking are certainly present, they usually occur outside of a traditional tonal structure.
Rhythmic independence and flexibility are also major themes in The Quartet Project. Shifting meters are introduced in Volume 3 and
they play a prominent role from then on. In the later volumes, imitation of speech rhythms comes to the fore.
Each book begins with approximately 20 “miniatures”—short character pieces, many of which last for less than a minute. These
miniatures can be used in several ways: to focus on specific ensemble skills, to practice sight-reading, or as pieces that can be
learned in one or two sittings (an antidote to spending an entire semester on a single movement from the standard repertory). For
purposes of performances, several miniatures may be grouped together to form little suites.
The Full-length Quartets
Each book concludes with a full-length quartet—three to six longer movements similar to a standard four-movement string quartet.
Most of the pieces in The Quartet Project have been “field-tested” and we’ve made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the printed
scores and parts. That said, when producing a new work of this scale, there are bound to be errors. If you discover any or have