Six Sanday Tunes

For children’s violin group


12 minutes



Dedication Mike Newman

Commissioned by





Children’s violin group OR string orchestra OR both together (see below for further information)


1. Tingly Loup
2. Roose Loch
3. Streamers
4. Cata Sand
5. Teeohuppo
6. Stramash


Composer Notes

Programme Notes

This piece is extremely flexible, and can be performed in a variety of ways. It is made up of the following material:
– Three violin lines, designed for children to play
– Five string parts, designed for adults to play
This enables the work to be used in educational or community projects, where pupils play the top three violin lines of this score, and the professionals, or teachers, play the five parts below.
The Three Violin Lines
Of the three violin lines, the second and third lines down are for less advanced violinists, giving them an opportunity to play in the ensemble at a relatively early stage.
The three violin lines make a satisfactory entity to be practised, and even performed, separately, without the five string parts.
NB: In No. 2, Roos Loch, the second and third violin lines become a little more demanding and exposed, and the indicated section may be omitted, if the adult players are present to ‘fill in’. In No. 3, Streamers, the top violin line divides into three canonic parts.
The Five String PartsThe five string parts can be played by any of the following:
– a string orchestra
– a string quintet
– a string quartet (omitting the fifth line.

Similarly, this string orchestra/ quintet/ quartet music stands up on its own, and may be performed separately without the three violin lines.
NB: In No. 2, Roos Loch, and in No. 4, Cata Sand, the first violin part could be omitted as indicated, depending upon the quality and reliability of the playing of the top line of the student group.
The possibilities
To sum up, the piece can be performed in any of the following combinations:
– By children alone
– By children with string orchestra
– By children with string quintet
– By children with string quartet
– By string orchestra alone
– By string quintet alone
– By string quartet alone

However, this arrangement was made to provide an opportunity for students and professionals to play alongside each other. It is the composer’s preference that the work is perform in this way, wherever possible.

Short Note by Roderic Dunnett

From these tunes’ lovely folksy opening, you might think you were in the middle of Amish country and Maurice Jarre’s award-winning score for the film Witness. A tribute to the Orkney island where Max lives, they’re also a throwback to his vivid arrangements of Renaissance Scottish Dances. But Max is ever the Educationalist : since his youthful orchestral Klee Pictures, he has been devising manageable, tuneful works that can be enjoyed – in various combinations – by virtual beginners (some aged as young as five!). Here are vital rhythms, a virtual reel (the final ‘Stramash’), and a lovely nostalgic slow tune with a Scandinavian tinge. There’s a whisper of Purcell too, a composer Max ‘arranged’ back in the 1960s; shades of Warlock’s Capriol Suite, maybe (no.2: ‘Roos Loch’); and echoes of Benjamin Britten, whose ‘school’ arrangements were penned for a similar purpose. The upper string gambolling (‘Streamers’), almost leisurely Scotch snap rhythms (‘Cata Sands’), jauntily striding lower string lines and perky pizzicati (‘Teeohuppo’ – recalling Britten’s ‘Playful Pizzicato’) all lend piquancy; so that in these cheeky, dancing pieces musical eras merge and time stands still.


First Performance

Community Hall, Sanday, Orkney (part of the St. Magnus Festival)

Sunday, 23 June 2002

Sanday Fiddle Club