My roommate plays violin (a concert C instrument). I play fife (a concern Ab instrument).

Fifes typically are played with music in either D or G, due to ease of hitting the notes on those scales. Violin also is typically played in a handful of keys.

Is there a way to make a piece of music sound good when played on both instruments, without introducing sharps and flats into the piece that are abnormal/inconvenient for the player to hit?


1 Answer 1


Generally with this duo, I would tend to write more with the fife in mind, and not worry so much about the fiddle player. If you are talking about concert D and G as keys, those are great keys for violin in a small group or solo setting, because they will very likely give you some open string double stop availability (violin is tuned in 5ths: G - D - A - E). If you are saying D & G on the fife, then the open strings won't be there as often, but the violinist should have considerably less difficulty playing in different keys than the fife player will, depending on the relative abilities and experience of each player. It is true that string players generally prefer sharp keys, too (again because of the open string key relationships) so you can factor that in.

Good luck!

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