If you watch any film which features a wedding, the chances are in one scene there will be a string quartet. Whether they are playing outside (but sound as if they recorded in a studio) or at a stylish indoor drinks reception, the string quartet is the film makers musician of choice.
Quite where this comes from is anyone’s guess, particularly as they only thing they tend to play (at least in the films!) is Pachelbel’s Canon in D.
A Question of Space
A String Quartet, as the name suggests, is of course 4 musicians. So they need 4 chairs and space to bow. In the majority of cases this means they also need 4 music stands. All of which takes up quite a bit of space.
A Duo by comparison, is half the number of people, and in the case of JAM Duo a quarter the number of music stands. We also bring our own seating. Even with the fact we bring a keyboard with the Cello, this still takes up a lot less space than two violins and a viola.
What about Budget?
Wedding’s are an expensive business, and no matter what your budget, all the individual elements of the day soon start to mount up. We would never suggest anyone scrimps on music! Nevertheless, a Duo is always going to be cheaper than a quartet. Similarly a string quartet will be cheaper than a 10 piece jazz band.
Interestingly solo musicians may often be more expensive, certainly when compared to a Duo. On occasion Jules and Anne-Marie do sometimes perform solo. Solo piano, during your meal, is quite a good option. Solo cello, whilst lovely, is an entirely different thing. Firstly there is limited repertoire for solo cello – not that you can’t just have your favourite song played on the cello – but without accompaniment it doesn’t necessarily work.
For this reason even when Anne-Marie is asked to perform as a soloist, Jules will generally go along. Mainly to carry things admittedly. But on the whole when people say they want a cello – what they actually want is a cello with accompaniment!
Why Cello and Piano?
The Cello is said to most closely resemble the human voice, both in terms of it’s soulful sound as well as its broad overall range. For this reason, the cello is extremely well suited to a lot of contemporary repertoire. Whilst Anne-Marie can play the Bach Cello Suites, these are not overly popular with today’s wedding couples. We are more likely nowadays, to be playing Ed Sheeran rather than Pachelbel.