Chord progressions communicate so much without ever being a melody.  For an arranger, the chord progression of a song is a good place to start to look for counter melodies.

Zadok: The Priest by Handel, written in the 18th century has one of the best intros in music. There is no theme as such, yet the chord progression and the pulsing/rolling string arrangement is instantly recognisable.  In this video Pete looks at the structure and modulation of the chords and sees echoes of many modern chord sequences within.

The strings for this 22 bar introduction have also been recorded as stems and are available for you to download using this link:

Help yourself to the strings recording, which includes 6 separate stems along with a MIDI file.  These audio files are copyright free.

About Pete Whitfield

Pete Whitfield is a violinist, arranger and orchestrator, who specialises in providing real string arrangements and recordings for composers and producers, major labels, TV companies and radio/media companies.

Credits from the realstrings studio include artists and producers Olly Murs, Future Cut, Rhymefest, Zed Bias, Ken Lewis, Judas Priest, The Christians, Candi Staton, Heather Small, Mr Scruff.

For more information and to listen to some of the sample packs Pete has worked on, please look out for the REALSTRINGS series under the Organic Loops label of here.