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What Are The Trends In String Music Today?

Students learning to play string instruments that are traditionally considered “classic” often mistakenly believe that they’ll be constrained to one genre of music forever. Yet, the boundaries of artistic expression are always expanding. New trends in string music constantly evolve as pioneers reach for new ways to create unique sounds.

Music students must know that there are no limits on the type of music they can create or play. String instrument trends are constantly changing and you have the power to chart your own course. There are a number of classically trained musicians who have broken away from traditional genres and established their own niche in an industry that is always looking for inventive alternatives. As a string musician, you have a number of exciting new options to pursue.

What is New Music?

You may not be familiar with the phrase, but New Music is simply an extension of the classical music tradition, but it’s the cutting edge version. Basically, it means incorporating new styles into what is traditionally considered classical music—living artists exploring new compositions. Things like alternate influences, techniques, structural forms, and new ways to express sound and emotion in order to understand and reflect the human experience.

That’s exactly what art is about: facing the challenges and emotions of life and addressing them in a way that reaches others and yourself. New Music means taking your feelings and using whatever is necessary to express them.

Expanding Ideas and New Possibilities

Students today are usually somewhat familiar with the shift in popular music that took place over the 20th century. Music itself helps represent culture, and swift changes in society are reflected through art. One such man, John Cage, invented new ways to reach audiences and share his vision. He recognized that by altering the way instruments were played, changing the rules of composition, and introducing new instruments into his music, he could generate his art in a way previously unheard.

Cage was known for taking literary texts and transforming them into a musical representation. His influence on contemporary classical music and society was profound, revolutionizing the way people approach art because he asserted that music was everywhere and could be created by anything.


Exploring New Options: Artists Today

Because of the work of Cage and others, today’s musicians aren’t confined by traditional boundaries, you can explore the latest trends or develop your own unique sound. The following list of artists is just a small representation of the interesting, innovative trends in string instrument music today.

Ed Alleyne-Johnson

This electric violinist has written a number of solo pieces and combines rock, pop, and classical sounds to create his enthralling style.


Jean-Luc Ponty

This virtuoso performer and jazz composer is still pushing boundaries in his music. Having grown up in a family of classical musicians, he is widely regarded as a pioneer of contemporary music. He has toured with artists like Elton John and Frank Zappa, and has sold millions of albums. His mastery of music and inventive style is still earning him honors today.


Kiss Kiss

This indie rock band emerged from SUNY Purchase and was formed by Joshua Benash and Jared Karns.



This violin progressive rock band is from Japan. Their music explores a number of different influences.


Diana Boncheva

Her electric violin is fantastic in Beethoven Virus, and combines rock and classical in an amazing way.


Linzi Stoppard

This artist is half of an electric violin duo called FUSE. The music made with their world's most expensive Swarovski Bridge violins is quickly gaining her and FUSE international fame. They also play with 24-carat gold instruments. Watch them perform “Glorious.”


Lindsey Stirling

This artist made a name for herself when all others told her that her unique dance/violin talent wasn’t appealing to the masses. She proved them wrong using social media and now has millions of fans.



This Croatian duo is phenomenal. What they are able to do with their cellos transcends all expectations. If you’ve never watched one of their videos or seen one of their international tours, you’re in for a real treat. The sounds they can create with these very traditionally classic instruments is eye-opening.

The music video for “Hysteria” is great and “Whole Lotta Love vs. Beethoven 5th Symphony” is a perfect example of new music. It blends a classical staple with a rock anthem, creating an incredible sound.



As a student learning to play a classical string instrument, you may mistakenly feel like the only options you have are ones that travel the same path of every classical musician, but the reality is quite different. With new music, you can imagine and generate any type of original work. There’s no limit to your artistic expression.

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