Christopher Norton’s distinctive contributions to the repertoire successfully bridge the gap between traditional literature and music in contemporary popular styles. The original series, Christopher Norton Connections for Piano contains over 200 newly composed pieces, carefully selected, edited, and sequenced to span ten levels from elementary to advanced. The subsequent books for other instruments are drawn from these, alongside more recently composed music. The pieces in Connections for Violin book 1 cover a wide range of styles and present many of the same challenges found in more traditional repertoire whatever the instrument – tonal beauty, balance between melody and accompaniment, natural movement and phrasing. More rhythmically oriented pieces require coordination, a deep-seated sense of pulse, and awareness of stylistic touches and accentuations. All pieces benefit from a strong connection to mood, movement, or image. The notation in Connections is clear – easily understood by teachers and students accustomed to traditional scores. For example:
• eighth notes are played “straight” unless swung eighths are specifically indicated
• although strict time may be assumed in most pieces, rubato is implied in the lyrical pieces, often spelled out through specific indications
• bowing and fingering indications are included for further ease of use
As fun and entertaining additions to the performance repertoire of young players, these pieces will prove to be popular selections for recitals, festivals, informal performances, and even examinations. Parents and friends will enjoy them, too, resulting in a positive experience for the performer.