When you think of the best violin songs, many of the classical pieces from long ago might come to mind. Maybe you start to hear Beethoven’s Violin Sonata No. 9 (‘Kreutzer’) in your head, or you imagine the intro to Paganini’s Caprice No. 24. However, in addition to the Classical and Baroque styles that brought the violin to worldwide fame, there are many modern pop and rock songs that highlight the capabilities of this beloved instrument.
Familiarizing yourself with different styles and genres of violin music can help you expand your musical horizons. Maybe you’ll find your new favorite song or discover a piece you want to practice and work toward. The good news is that there are so many good violin songs out there that you could spend a lifetime exploring them.
So, where do you start? We’re here to help by sharing a handful of the top violin songs of all time!
What is the Best Violin Song?
From timeless Bach concertos to dubstep-inspired hits, you’re bound to find at least one violin song you’ll love on this list! Give these tunes a listen and add them to your violin music repertoire.
- Bach: Chaconne
- Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto
- Vaughan William: The Lark Ascending
- Lindsey Stirling: Crystallize
- Niccolò Paganini: Moses Fantasy
- Pink Floyd: Wish You Were Here
- Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber: Mystery Sonatas
- Kansas: Point of Know Return
- Niccolò Paganini: Violin Concerto No. 2
- Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto
1. Bach: Chaconne
It wouldn’t be a true compilation of the best violin songs if we didn’t include Bach. After all, Bach composed two fantastic traditional violin concertos that are still celebrated today. The fifth movement of Bach’s Partita No. 2 in D minor for unaccompanied violin is easily one of the best violin songs of all time. It may be an ancient song, but no doubt, it still stands the test of time.
This particular video features Nathan Milstein performing the violin song. Milstein is an accomplished violinist, and he does the piece great justice. While not played at an incredibly high tempo, it does allow a violinist to show his or her prowess completely. Give this tune a whirl, and it just may become a favorite of yours to play.
2. Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto
Another one of the most famous violin songs is Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto, which includes both beautiful and haunting moments. Mendelssohn is a celebrated German composer who created beautiful works such as this one during the early Romantic period. This concerto features fast-paced and technical sections that require rigorous practice. It may be challenging to learn at first, but it is well worth it when you master this fine song.
At more than 25 minutes in length, depending on the particular conductor and soloist, the piece allows the violin player to expand musical horizons as long as he or she wishes. It may be a long piece, but that just means there’s more to love!
3. Vaughan William: The Lark Ascending
In a bit more contemporary-classical vein, Ralph Vaughan Williams composed “The Lark Ascending” after being inspired by a George Meredith poem. The lovely 1880s poem tells the tale of an English skylark in flight.
As the title suggests, it’s a light and airy piece, composed to actually transcribe into the sounds of a lark. You can practically see and hear the bird flying before you when you press play on this magical tune. Many musicians find this to be one of the best violin tunes because it is quite simple-sounding yet undeniably beautiful. This popular violin song is especially gorgeous when accompanied by a piano or full concert orchestra.
SEE ALSO: Sad Violin Music That Will Bring You To Tears
4. Lindsey Stirling: Crystallize
Modern violin music strikes again! While Lindsey Stirling hasn’t been performing internationally for long, she has quickly become the face of dubstep violin playing. The marriage of a centuries-old instrument and modern computer-generated music tickles the eardrums in a unique way. These famous violin songs breathe fresh life and energy into this historical art form.
The attention to detail in Stirling’s recordings is quite evident, blending new techniques with classical standards. If dubstep is a musical genre you enjoy outside of violin playing, be sure to check out all of her violin songs.
5. Niccolò Paganini: Moses Fantasy
Niccolò Paganini was an Italian violinist and composer who was responsible for many incredible violin tunes. Moses Fantasy was written for the G string left when all others broke during one of Paganini’s concerts.
The unique tones in Moses Fantasy are why it’s made it to this list of the best violin songs. Many say he played one string better than many violinists play 4!
6. Pink Floyd: Wish You Were Here
You know we had to throw a little rock ‘n roll in here! Jazz violinist Stephane Grappelli joined in on this fierce tune to play the violin, making Wish You Were Here one of the top violin songs of all time.
7. Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber: Mystery Sonatas
A Bohemian-Austrian violinist and composer, Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber played many of the best violin songs that many other violinists couldn’t. Mystery Sonatas is a part of a 15-piece collection. Each piece represents one of the mysteries and the rosary.
Mystery Sonatas is considered the most iconic unaccompanied violin piece before Bach. This one is quite tricky to play and intriguing to listen to as it’s made up of fire-rapid passages, double stops, and an extended range.
8. Kansas: Point of Know Return
You don’t have to go back centuries to find some of the best violin music. Simply turn your attention to the 1970s rock band Kansas and get ready to jam.
When the rock group Kansas formed, Robby Steinhardt was an integral member of the band. He didn’t play guitar or drums, nor was he a lead vocalist. Rather, he was a talented violin player who was able to give the band its signature sound that set them apart from other rock groups of the time. This band paved the way when it came to incorporating the violin sound into contemporary music styles.
Grab your violin because you will definitely have some fun with this one! In the song “Point of Know Return,” Robby’s talents are on display throughout, including a bridge and solo section that brings the violin to the forefront. This is a great modern-day violin piece to rock out to with your friends– and best of all, your violin playing will make you the star of the performance.
9. Niccolò Paganini: Violin Concerto No. 2
We can’t help but include another one of Niccolò Paganini’s best violin songs because it’s so incredible! You can see why he was such a famous violinist during his time and continues to be appreciated for his talent.
Paganini’s Violin Concerto No. 2 is only played by the bravest soloist due to its challenging techniques. It’s well worth trying to play it, and if not, deserves a spot on your best violin music playlist.
10. Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was one of the most famous violinists from the 80s and is still loved today! Violin Concerto was his only one and it’s clear he put everything he had into this one.
Although this concerto is much more dynamic than most others, Tchaikovsky plays it flawlessly. Enjoy listening to this one’s double stops, quick octaves, and flying spiccato.
Do you have a piece to add to our list of the best violin songs? If so, let us know in the comments section below!
You might also be interested in:
19 Easy (Yet Impressive) Songs to Play on Violin
15 Popular Violin Solo Pieces for Beginners
Beginners Guide to Learning the Violin