What are the instruments in a string quartet?

Two violins, a viola and a cello

Can you perform as a string trio?

Yes. Our trio comprises one violin, viola and cello

What is the main difference between quartet and trio?

Aside from the obvious numerics, we describe the difference as being the same as that between a 4 part choir and a 3 part choir. While a 3 part choir works fine, the 4 part choir is traditional and "fullest" sounding and covers all the different ranges, soprano, alto, tenor and bass. In string terms, it's really the same- a trio is missing one of the middle voices. But a trio still sounds absolutely wonderful and warm all the same. Think of the quartet as the "platinum" package and the trio as the "gold"!

Is there a difference in the repertoire between the two? 

For us, no. We have spent the last few years specifically arranging all of our quartet repertoire for the trio to ensure that everything works perfectly without the fourth voice. 

Can you perform as a string duo? 

We do not offer a duo package as we believe it's not a feasible or satisfactory alternative to the quartet or trio. We only want to sound our best when we perform and a duo option doesn't achieve this. 

Can I book RETROSPECT through this website? 

By all means, yes. You can combine the Carolan String Quartet with Retrospect if you wish also. We offer competitive rates when the two are combined

Do you provide a singer as part of your group?

No. We work frequently with a number of Ireland's finest singers and are happy to recommend the following: 

www.helenehutchinson.com       www.colette-delahunt.ie      www.eimearquinn.com   www.antoinetteheery.ie

Can you arrange a special song or piece for an event?

 Yes we can. There are certain genres of music that don't translate terribly well to an acoustic group without drums (all the obvious ones!) but we are happy to give something a listen and ascertain its suitability

Do you travel countrywide?

Yes, by all means. We apply travel expenses where necessary, which is all inclusive in the quote you receive from us upon your enquiry

Do you perform with amplification?

We work regularly with a sound engineer who provides a small PA system and sound supervision to us when necessary but in the wedding ceremony it is not. In most cases, at the drinks reception or dinner, a quartet/trio without amplification can be completely lost in the din of a large crowd and the use of amplification is advised. There are a number of venues in the country where a natural acoustic serves strings really well. We'll advise you, on receipt of the specifics in your enquiry, whether we would use some amplification or not for the drinks reception/dinner etc, if applicable

Do you have a demo cd?

We provide a guide cd to all clients with a secure booking, from which they may choose the music for their ceremony. We do not provide demo cds to provisional enquiries. The audio files on the site here suffice, we believe.

Can we see you perform live?

It's normally very easy to see a wedding band play live but with our profession, it's slightly different. We will always try to arrange for a potential client to see us live but it is not always feasible because of the venue, because of the location of the venues and because most of our work is during the day, as opposed to evening. If a wedding ceremony is being held in a large church or cathedral, a pop-in at the back wouldn't be noticed but a lot of ceremonies are increasingly held in hotels or smaller, intimate churches and it would not be appropriate for a viewing of the group. Many of our evening engagements, i.e. in hotels etc., are private corporate events and are not suitable either. This is why we've gone to a lot of trouble to make the stunning video that you see on this website and we'll often post more vids on Facebook. Maybe you'll find it hard to believe that we are as good as the video portrays but believe us- we are!