When you think of the most popular violin songs, many of the classical pieces from long ago might come to mind. Maybe you start to hear Beethoven’s Violin Sonata No. 9 (‘Kreutzer’) in your head, or you imagine the intro to Paganini’s Caprice No. 24. However, in addition to the Classical and Baroque styles that brought the violin to worldwide fame, there are many modern pop and rock songs that highlight the capabilities of this beloved instrument.
Familiarizing yourself with different styles and genres of violin music can help you expand your musical horizons. Maybe you’ll find your new favorite song or discover a piece you want to practice and work toward. The good news is that there are so many good violin songs out there that you could spend a lifetime exploring them. So, where do you start? We’re here to help!
Here, we’ve listed a handful of the best violin songs that showcase the true versatility of the violin. From timeless Bach concertos to dubstep-inspired hits, you’re bound to find at least one violin song you’ll love on this list! Give these tunes a listen and add them to your violin music repertoire.
The 5 Best Violin Songs
Violin Song #1 – Bach’s Chaconne
It wouldn’t be a true compilation of the best violin songs if we didn’t include Bach. After all, Bach composed two fantastic traditional violin concertos that are still celebrated today. The fifth movement of Bach’s Partita No. 2 in D minor for unaccompanied violin is easily one of the best violin songs of all time. It may be an ancient song, but no doubt, it still stands the test of time.
This particular video features Nathan Milstein performing the violin song. Milstein is an accomplished violinist, and he does the piece great justice. While not played at an incredibly high tempo, it does allow a violinist to show his or her prowess completely. Give this tune a whirl, and it just may become a favorite of yours to play.
Violin Song #2 – Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto
Another good violin song, Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto includes both beautiful and haunting moments. Mendelssohn is a celebrated German composer who created beautiful works such as this one during the early Romantic period. This concerto features fast-paced and technical sections that require rigorous practice. It may be challenging to learn at first, but it is well worth it when you master this fine song.
At more than 25 minutes in length, depending on the particular conductor and soloist, the piece allows the violin player to expand musical horizons as long as he or she wishes. It may be a long piece, but that just means there’s more to love!
Violin Song #3 – Vaughan Williams’ “The Lark Ascending”
In a bit more contemporary-classical vein, Ralph Vaughan Williams composed “The Lark Ascending” after being inspired by a George Meredith poem. The lovely 1880s poem tells the tale of an English skylark in flight.
As the title suggests, it is a light and airy piece, composed to actually transcribe into the sounds of a lark. You can practically see and hear the bird flying before you when you press play on this magical tune. Many musicians adore this famous violin song because it is quite simple-sounding yet undeniably beautiful. This popular violin song is especially gorgeous when accompanied by a piano or full concert orchestra.
Violin Song #4 – Kansas’ “Point of Know Return”
You don’t have to go back centuries to find some of the best violin music. Simply turn your attention to the 1970s rock band Kansas and get ready to jam.
When the rock group Kansas formed, Robby Steinhardt was an integral member of the band. He didn’t play guitar or drums, nor was he a lead vocalist. Rather, he was a talented violin player who was able to give the band its signature sound that set them apart from other rock groups of the time. This band paved the way when it came to incorporating the violin sound into contemporary music styles.
Grab your violin because you will definitely have some fun with this one! In the song “Point of Know Return,” Robby’s talents are on display throughout, including a bridge and solo section that bring the violin to the forefront. This is a great modern-day violin piece to rock out to with your friends– and best of all, your violin playing will make you the star of the performance.
Violin Song #5 – Lindsey Stirling’s “Crystallize”
Modern violin music strikes again! While Lindsey Stirling hasn’t been performing internationally for long, she has quickly become the face of dubstep violin playing. The marriage of a centuries-old instrument and modern computer-generated music tickles the eardrums in a unique way. These popular violin songs breathe fresh life and energy into this historical art form.
The attention to detail in Stirling’s recordings is quite evident, blending new techniques with classical standards. If dubstep is a musical genre you enjoy outside of violin playing, be sure to check out all of her violin songs.
Who knew violin music could be so versatile? This list of the best violin songs is by no means comprehensive. This roundup just scratches the surface when it comes to some of the best violin music out there, but use the list for inspiration when you’re practicing or learning to play the violin. After all, listening to different styles and genres of violin music can help you push the limits. You might even stumble across a new way of playing that you never imagined. The more you immerse yourself in the wide variety of violin music that’s out there, the more you’ll continue to be motivated to improve your own skills.
For even more inspiration and guidance, you can always turn to in-person or online violin lessons. With the help of a music teacher, you will challenge yourself and take your violin playing to new extremes. Sign up with TakeLessons to advance your musical journey today.
Did your top violin song make our list? If you have a favorite violin song that you feel should be acknowledged, let us know in the comments section below!
This list of the best violin songs is by no means comprehensive. Use the list for inspiration when you’re practicing or learning to play the violin. The more you immerse yourself in the wide variety of violin music that’s out there, the more you’ll continue to be motivated to improve your own skills.
If you have a favorite violin song that you feel should be acknowledged, let us know in the comments section below!
Photo by Will