By Jasmine Reese - Valentine's Day brings many couples a lot of joy.
Between the exchanging of gifts and romantic displays of affection, it is a serendipitous and heartwarming day for people infected with the bug of passion.
If you're a music student, you can take it a step further. Express your love through the gift of song.
And if you're a string player, you're really in luck. You just so happen to play some of the most schmaltzy, lovey-dovey instruments on the planet. Violin and cello are often the features of many love-themed compositions across multiple genres. There's no shortage of pieces -- for all levels of playing
Here are several suggestions for love songs and pieces you can attempt to learn on your instrument and play for your special Valentine.
From beginner to professional, you can play Camille Saint-Saens' "The Swan."
This piece is transcribed for violin, viola, and double bass even though originally composed for cello and orchestra. If you're an intermediate and above level player, "The Swan" presents many opportunities to practice different ways of phrasing.
While this tune comes from Saint-Saens' Carnival of the Animals and is not directly about romance and love, this composition has been the feature of weddings.
ELGAR SALUT D'AMOUR
While this piece is more for intermediate and advanced players, there are easier arrangements for the beginner player. It can be played in a different key as well to accommodate your skill level. Pierre Holstein, aka Fiddlerman, provides the sheet music on his website.
This tune was composed as an engagement gift for Edward Elgar's fiancée. So, it's the ultimate declaration of one's love in musical form. Whether you're a fan of classical music or not, most people recognize this tune from the numerous movies, commercials, and other entertainment platforms it's been used in.
Why not get together with some musician friends and play the Canon for your Valentine?
While the reasons and origins of the composition are not widely known, Pachelbel's Canon is often a wedding favorite. Brides tend to walk down the aisle to this tranquil and hopeful music.
BRUNO MARS "JUST THE WAY YOU ARE" & "MARRY YOU"
In 2010, Bruno Mars' song "Just the Way You Are" was a lasting hit along with his wedding proposal anthem "Marry You." Eight years later, couples still use these two songs as the backing track for a romantic proposal and lively wedding piece to accompany the bride walking down the aisle.
Of course, that means a number of string arrangements, ranging from easy to difficult, were born from the phenomenon. There is no shortage of video covers, but you can also find many examples of creative ways to declare your love for that special someone on Valentine's Day.
ELVIS PRESLEY "I CAN'T HELP FALLING IN LOVE"
Oldie, but goodie, as the saying goes! It's a simple, yet, an expressive song about falling in love, as the title suggests. As a string player, you can do a lot with the repeated phrases in this song. Adding some vibrato, shifts, and using a whole bow with even distribution will go a long way.
JAY UNGER & MOLLY MASON "THE LOVERS' WALTZ"
Jay Unger and Molly Mason released "The Lovers' Waltz" back in 1997. Like his composition "Ashokan Farewell," it is a tune that gets stuck in the hearts of those listening to it. This tune is great for a waltz dance between lovers. Even better, it's simple enough for beginning fiddlers to learn and play.
BONUS FROM FIDDLERSHOP! MY FUNNY VALENTINE