What do you get when you combine a catchy children’s tune with a young person’s guide to the orchestra and a lovable finned friend?
Baby Shark for orchestra, of course!
If you’ve ever heard this traditional tune, which traces its origins back to campfire songs but has taken off in the last few years in various versions, you know it’s impossible to get out of your head.
That’s the state I found myself in when hearing it last summer. At about the same time, I was visiting with some relatives whose children all know the “Baby Shark” song and I was explaining my work to them, talking about the various instruments in the orchestra…
…or make that the “orca-stra”. One thing led to another, and by the end of the weekend, I had made an arrangement where each member of Baby’s family represented an orchestral section and got its chance to play the tune.
It was fun, and I played it for my cousin, who loved it. And then it sat on a shelf through the fall and winter as I attended to other projects. I guess Baby Shark was hibernating?
Fast forward to this month, when I was fortunate to secure the talents of the sensational cellist Samara Ginsberg to help bring Baby Shark out into the world. Along with her partner Leo Nicholson (yes, you know Leo from his brilliant work on Notation Express and the Dorico reviews), she fished in the talent pool of London’s musicians and hunted down the finest ones to each lead their section of the orchestra in this inaugural video.
Been busy this week on a super fun project with a few colleagues! Ace composer Philip Rothman from @nycmusicservice has done this rather wonderful orchestration of everybody's favourite children's song in the form of a guide to the orchestra. Read more at https://t.co/WzcJhkRRnf pic.twitter.com/29YQuF3iLp
— Samara Ginsberg (@samaracello) June 29, 2020
It’s my hope there will be many more performances of my new arrangement, whether they’re in person or online. To that end, anyone interested in renting the music and obtaining the rights to perform Baby Shark for orchestra can go to our online marketplace, Notation Central, where you’ll find it among the growing collection of sheet music on the site.
There are versions for both student and professional orchestras, and if you want to make a video recording like we did, the synchronization license comes complete with a click track and orchestral backing track, so you can perform Baby Shark with only a handful (finful?) of players.
Thanks to Samara and all the musicians who finally realized Baby Shark’s full potential and made the whole project go swimmingly. Have fun!