Piece of the Week: Bollywood Strings

Bollywood Strings

Julie Lyonn Lieberman’s “Bollywood Strings” piece captures the excitement of Indian movie music, and provides opportunities for an electric violin solo and an expanded percussion section. The piece has been arranged in two versions, for younger and more advanced orchestras, with the two versions designed to fit together or to stand alone.

Composition Notes:

“Bolly” is a Hindi word for “film.” Taking diverse inspiration from Hollywood movie-musicals, ancient Indian epics, Indian classical and American pop music, Bollywood films have long been the biggest form of pop culture in South Asia, launching the careers of pop singers and movie stars alike. In 2008, the Bollywood craze caught on in America, propelled by the worldwide success of the film “Slumdog Millionaire.” The music of Bollywood films blends refreshing traditional Indian scales and rhythms with contemporary pop sounds, and composer Julie Lyonn Lieberman has captured those sounds in this piece for orchestra. The junior and senior editions of this piece can be played together or separately for maximum flexibility. The piece calls for an electric violin solo, providing your students an opportunity to experiment with contemporary music technology and extended technique, but the piece works equally well with a featured acoustic violin soloist. True to the dynamism of this contemporary international style, “Bollywood Strings” takes advantage of every possible medium to inspire students.

Audio Sample:

Audio provided by Kendor Music, Inc.

Composer Biography:

An eclectic styles violinist and vocalist, Julie Lyonn Lieberman specializes in improvisation and American vernacular as well as world styles. A member of the American String Teachers National Curriculum Committee, she is the Artistic Director for the summer program, “Strings Without Boundaries.” Julie is the author of eight music books, two National Public radio series, six DVD’s and over fifty magazine articles. Lieberman is the recipient of over a dozen ASCAP awards and eight “Meet the Composer” awards. She has performed her original music on and off Broadway, throughout the U.S., Canada, and in Europe, and on television and radio and has five recordings of original music to her credit.

More information

More information about the Bollywood Strings project and additional materials are available at:


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If you are an educator, musician, composer or student with a suggestion for a “piece of the week” blog post, you can email your suggestion to Griffin at [email protected]. Please let me know the name of the piece, composer, publisher, and why this piece is special to you.

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