Yesterday, we popped into RAK Studios in St John’s Wood to record string quartet parts for a band who wanted to enhance their track with live strings. The string arranger had introduced a “Bollywood” style to the writing, so there were plenty of glissandi throughout the parts. These were very effective and gave the music an extra dimension, adding a slightly mournful quality to the strings. This style of writing was reminiscent of some of the later Beatles string arrangements, using a classical Indian influence to great effect.
As various countries and cultures have their own distinct style of writing and orchestrating for strings, some arrangers and bands can choose to utilise this to add interest to a track. By writing a western pop or rock track and asking the string arranger to compose parts with a middle Eastern, Scandanavian or Celtic flavour, the whole feel of a track can be altered to suggest a fusion of influences. In the same way, a string arranger could be approached with the brief of writing parts in the style of various decades – for example 1960’s ‘easy listening’ strings or something highly classical in nature.