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Five Pieces for Viola and Piano

Folk-influenced solo viola pieces with piano accompaniment and optional violin part

By Helen Bell

Solo viola pieces with fully scored piano accompaniments and optional counterpoint parts for violin (as played by Tamarysk).

The melodies are taken from my book of tunes, Midnight on Platform 16B, and were made into extended arrangements for the band.

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Included in this collection are five new arrangements of some of my tunes, originally just written as melodies with chords. They’re written to fit the Tamarysk line-up, with viola as lead instrument, piano accompaniment, and optional counterpoint parts which we recorded on Tom’s electric mandolin or electric guitar, but which are scored for violin in the sheet music.

The pieces are:


Three of the five pieces are named after coastal towns and villages. Audierne is a fishing town in Brittany, which inspired this piece. It was composed in a field full of very loud crickets near the town of Audierne, after a visit to the town itself. I was in the field because my aunt had a headache, and said that if I was to play the viola, that was where I ought to do it.


This is the only piece in this collection that started out as a viola and piano piece right from the beginning. It was written as GCSE music composition coursework, for viola and piano. The violin/mandolin part was added for this new version so it could be played in Tamarysk.


Another tune named after a bit of coastline, Walberswick is almost a slow canon, which has two main sections which can be played alone or simultaneously. In this arrangement, parts of the melody are moved across the different instruments, although it still works as just a viola and piano piece and the violin/mandolin part is an optional extra. Walberswick is a coastal village in Suffolk.

On the Carpet

A slow tune written for late-night gatherings in my scruffy post-student shared house in York, which had a very small living room and never enough seating for everyone.

Leaving Whitby

A slow waltz tune, mostly written in the back of a car during a sleep-deprived journey home from Whitby Folk Week on the North Yorkshire coast. In addition to the original melody, this arrangement has a newly composed middle section.