The Sounds of Silence by Paul Simon – Arranged for Violin in E Minor

The sheet music offered here is for “The Sounds of Silence” by Paul Simon and performed by Simon and Garfunkel. It was originally in a very unpleasant key signature, namely D♯ minor. I changed it to E minor, which is much nicer at only one sharp. Even so, this is a medium difficulty arrangement for the violin because of all the double stops, which can be played in first and third position. This arrangement is basically the two voices scored out and has lyrics, so one might use this sheet music for singing the duet, too.

The was transcribed from, which is apparently Simon and Garfunkel live, and then transposed up a half step. I have to admit first that I am treble biased and had difficulty picking up the deeper voice when scoring out the song. I think that I mostly scored it correctly. I did wonder as I scored it out whether I ought to have scored this in 2/4 time, but it also feels like 4/4 in places. The wiki article on the song here did mention that when they tried to add instruments, they found the original recording was not too even, so I decided that 4/4 is fine.

The lyrics are left to help one figure out the mood and to keep track more easily of where in the song one is. I wanted to write this to be more difficult, but I changed my mind because I think my students who will want to use this need to get used to accurate higher position double stops before mixing in much else. Just like all my other modern music sheet music arrangements, this is a request song from a student.

Edit: 2023-03-31: Sheet music updated. As a comment pointed out, the music was not in B minor; the key signature was in B minor. I remember that I frowned at the 6 sharps in D# minor, because my then student definitely did not want to think in 6 sharps. Then, I transposed and swapped the key signature to B minor. I should have taken the key signature to E minor, which I have now done, because that eliminates all of the C naturals from when the key signature is B minor. When posting the song on my site, I probably just glanced at the key signature and wrote “in B minor”, because that was indeed the key signature. The music was and is in E minor. The key signature now agrees. Now, the sheet music should make more intuitive sense.

To download free sheet music for “The Sounds of Silence” by Paul Simon arranged for intermediate violin as a .pdf, please click here:


One comment

  1. Dov

    Your notation is written in the original key D# minor (or Eb minor as I like to call it). but the accidentals are wrong –
    – the notes are in the key of Ebm and the accidentals are in the key of Bm.

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