Unexpectedly Awesome Music for Violin + Piano

Photo by  Josh Bellingham

It’s hard to believe, but since the first summer wedding season of The Fox Duo, we’ve added over 230 new songs to our repertoire. When thinking of a violin and piano duo, slow pop piano ballads and classical music come to mind for most people (and it did initially for us – perfect for weddings!), but after a whole lot of requests over the last few years and a real desire to try new things and keep our set lists fresh and fun, we’ve discovered or created some really awesome arrangements that we love to play.

These are a big hit at the cocktail hour and non-wedding ceremony performances we do – still the same classical-type sound of violin/piano, but a lot of fun, recognizable songs.

Aaron Albano Piano The Fox Duo Niagara Wedding

Rock:

One of the oldest requests we have had was ‘Sweet Child O Mine’ for a wedding recessional. The opening riff is really fun to play and sounds great on violin, so this prompted some digging around for classic rock music. However, most of the sheet music doesn’t include the famous guitar solos! This left it up to us to write out the notes by ear or with the occasional guitar tab, with of course, some practicing of notes. Hotel California is one of these, and we always enjoy performing it:

Hip Hop:

In February 2018, we were booked for a cocktail hour + first dance performance at The Pillar and Post. The couple, Billy and Sarah, were originally from Detroit, big fans of hip-hop and asked us to perform some of their favourite tracks from the 90s and 2000s. February isn’t exactly peak wedding season, so luckily we had a bit of extra time to put together new arrangements. And it worked! We managed to pull off Regulate, Jesus Walks, Empire State of Mind, Nuthin But A G Thang, Lollipop, and Gangsta’s Paradise. We even performed Lose Yourself for their grand entrance at dinner.

Hip-hop can be challenging, because the rap vocals are usually just a rhythm, with no real melody. It takes a bit of improvisation to pull rap verses off on the violin, but we like this one!

Mash ups:

Maybe one of our most requested wedding ceremony songs ever has been our mashup of Pachelbel’s Canon with the melody of Bruno Mars’ Marry You. Most recently, I spent a ton of time searching for cool mashups on YouTube made by DJs, and found some really cool ones to transcribe.  The two songs work so well together that it sounds totally natural, but it’s always great when someone listening to us clues in to what is actually going on. So far we’ve put together:

 Black or White + Sweet Child o Mine

Somebody to Love + Praise You

Get Lucky + Billie Jean

Take Me to Church + Crazy In Love

Californication + Hotel California.

Can’t wait to put these in our sets during this upcoming season of gigs!