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Comparing a String Trio to a String Quartet

Should we select a quartet or a trio?

 

o    We are often asked this question.   Both are a beautiful compliment to any occasion, but they are very different.   A string quartet has a fuller richer sound and a fourth musical part as well, which provides more textures and color.  I would recommend you ignore everything anyone has told you, listen to both and select the one you like best.

o    The recordings 1 & 2 below were made with the same mic, in my living room with the same people on the same day performing same exact arrangement.  Recording 3. is a full quartet of the same arrangement done in the studio for a more professional sound. 
 
1.   2.   3.  
trio quartet quartet studio recording
     
Is a quarter louder than a trio?
  o    Basically no.  It takes 10 times the number of instruments to double the volume because loudness is a logrhythmic, not leniar.  It would take a string orchestra of 30 players to be twice as loud as a trio.
   
What is the difference in cost?
  o    A trio is slightly less expensive than a full string quartet. 
           One hour quartet is around $500.00
           One hour trio around           $400.00
 
Which is most popular?
  A string quartet is usually peoples first choice. 
  For example.  One of the greatest musical genius of all times, Mozart, wrote 23 string quartets and only one trio.  He preferred the sound of a quartet.  Again, both are very nice, but very different.  If they do not perform side by side most people won't notice a big difference. 
 
 

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