Tag Archives: sheetmusic

Arranging Bruno Mars’ Just The Way You Are for Violin and Cello

An old friend of ours is getting married this week and asked if we could provide music.   She specifically requested for a few modern pop tunes.

I’m always a bit apprehensive about playing pop repertoire with classical instruments.  Is it going to sound really corny and crap?  Will it still convey the same emotion without singing or lyrics?

A bit of Googling and I found U2’s Beautiful Day [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5ZkVYXguhQ] as well as Bruno Mars’ Just The Way You Are [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MpqJjasrD7I] arranged and recorded by the Vitamin String Quartet.  Seems like this US based quartet has done a heap of pop and rock covers, and they don’t sound too bad either!

Unfortunately, our instrumentation for the wedding is going to be keyboard/piano, violin and cello.   Still, I used a combination of the  recording by the original artists together with listening to the Vitamin String Quartet arrangement to come up with my own arrangement – for piano trio!

I hope it will be OK for the wedding!

But the whole exercise on this Sunday morning has made me appreciate how much effort goes into arranging music.  Just these 2 pieces took nearly 4 hours – and that’s just for a pretty rough draft version.   I’d estimate I’d need another 4 hours to polish it up.   And then do an actual run through to see whether it sounds OK and is playable!

Fairytale Violin Sheet Music

It was great to see so many string instruments featured in the different songs for Eurovision this year.  I remember a few years ago, it seemed that large African/Oriental drums were the “fashion”.   This year, it seemed to be violins and cellists who played standing up!

As a treat for Eurovision fans who play the violin (but mostly because I had to figure it out because it’s been stuck in my head for the last few days), I’ve transcribed the violin riff from Norway’s Fairytale song by Alexander Rybak!  Have fun pretending to be Alexander!


Violin Riff from Fairytale by Alexander Rybak, transcribed by Jason Chong
Violin Riff from Fairytale by Alexander Rybak, transcribed by Jason Chong


Fineprint:  Song copyright obviously owned by Alexander Rybak.