Why choose Melba Strings?
We provide a quality performance and friendly service. Most importantly, we offer competitive pricing. Thanks to Melba Strings, there’s no reason for you to compromise on the quality of your music.
What about the quality of your musicians?
Our musicians are professionals who have undertaken international music training. Unlike many other string quartets who call on a large pool of freelance musicians, Melba Strings uses it’s core members most of the time. If a core member is sick or has a prior commitment, they will be replaced by a musician of a similar professional standard. We do not use student musicians.
What needs to be provided?
All we require is a space (approx. 3m x 2m) with protection from rain (even light drizzle) and direct sunshine. If it is an outdoor event, we require shelter (a large umbrella, small marquee or a large tree) and four arm-less chairs. Sufficient lighting is also necessary. No amplification is required unless we will be playing in a carpeted room with 200+ people.
Do you offer a cheaper option? eg. String trio?
Yes, a string trio is a cost-saving option and can be adequate, especially if there is limited physical space available. Please be aware however that the sound will not be as full as a string quartet.
What are your booking terms and conditions?
At the time of booking, a $100 non-refundable deposit must be made to secure the booking. The balance is required 7 days before your event. If a cancellation is made 7 days or less from the event, the full fee will be charged. Proceed to our payments page for full details.
Are there any other charges?
Melba Strings charges a travel fee for areas more than 40km (approx.) from the centre of Melbourne. (Ask us for a quote)
There is an extra charge of $120 for bookings on public holidays. We do not charge a booking fee or GST.
What payment options do you provide?
Melba Strings offers direct deposit, cheque and cash as payment options.
How do I book?
Step 1: Fill out the enquiry form. Step 2: Karen from Melba Strings will email you to confirm availability of your date and time. Step 3: Secure your booking by paying the non-refundable $100 deposit. Please see our payments page for payment options.
Do you play requests?
Please ask us if we have the requested song in our repertoire. If we don’t have it, we may be able to accomodate your request depending on the song and availability of music. Some songs just don’t work when re-written for string quartet!
How long can the group play before taking a break?
Melba Strings take a 10-15 minute break per hour of a booking. Please let us know the running order of your event so we can plan breaks to coincide with speeches etc. For bookings of 3 hours or longer, the musicians should be provided with a light meal during one of the breaks.
Wedding related questions
Can you help me plan the music? I’ve never done this before!
Of course; we’ve been doing it for years! We are happy to make the music choices for you. Members of Melba Strings have collectively played at hundreds of weddings and we know what works! We are able to offer you invaluable advice to help you choose your music for the ceremony and beyond.
For what part of the wedding does the string quartet play?
Melba Strings can provide music at any point during your wedding day, whether it be the ceremony itself, the post-ceremony drinks, as background music during the wedding meal or after the meal itself as live music and entertainment.
What music can the string quartet play during the ceremony?
Wherever you have planned to hold the wedding ceremony, music is one of the most important factors in creating the perfect atmosphere. Most couples like to choose some of the main pieces (eg. entrance music or the recessional) and leave the rest to us.
Pre-ceremony: This involves a selection of music to be played as your guests arrive, 15 to 30 minutes before the ceremony begins. Generally elegant and soothing, this music is best chosen by the quartet.
The processional (entrance of the bride): The chosen piece of music needs to have a steady, well-defined tempo to accompany the entrance of the wedding party and then the bride, for the big entrance.
The signing of the register: Two pieces of music are generally required here, as the timing can be variable depending on the photographer. We recommend music with a slowish tempo that won’t detract too much from the bride and groom signing the register.
The recessional (exit of bride and groom): An uplifting piece is recommended here to accompany the bride and groom as they leave the ceremony.
Post-ceremony: Music with a happy feel is played as guests leave the church or mingle after the ceremony.
Please view our list of recommended wedding ceremony music.
Can Melba Strings attend the rehearsal for the wedding ceremony?
The quartet’s musicians generally do not attend the rehearsal. The usual arrangement is to discuss the proceedings beforehand and then liaise with the minister or celebrant on the day.
What happens if the bride is late? Can we pay for overtime?
Because wedding ceremonies often run late, please ensure your booking covers a bit of extra time. Eg. if the ceremony is due to run for 40 minutes, you many need to book the string quartet for 1.5 hours to cover the pre-ceremony music, the ceremony and the “unknown” factor! In the event that the bride is running particularly late, Melba Strings charge an extra $140 per 15 minute block of overtime. There is no guarantee that the musicians will be able to stay longer than the booked time.