Variations on O for a thousand words to sing for string quartet



Each of the instruments has its turn to play the tune or varied versions of it.
The key sequence is:

D major using the basic statement with additional passing notes and decorations, with first violin taking the melody.

It then moves up in the 2nd verse to E dorian with a slightly renaissance feel, with viola taking the melody.

The 3rd verse, with cello on melody, goes on up to a jolly renaissance-style dance also in E Dorian, incorporating a mix of 3/4 and 6/8 rhythms.

The final verse goes back to the D major 4/4 version with additional decorations and passing notes, while also
occasionally reminding the audience of the 6/8-style contra-rhythms of the Dorian verses.
As you might expect, the 2nd violin takes the melody here.