Before the Chinrest: A Violinist's Guide to the Mysteries of by Stanley Ritchie

By Stanley Ritchie

Drawing at the ideas of Francesco Geminiani and 4 a long time of expertise as a baroque and classical violinist, Stanley Ritchie deals a necessary source for someone wishing to profit approximately 17th-18th-and early 19th-century violin approach and magnificence. whereas a lot of the paintings makes a speciality of the technical facets of taking part in the pre-chinrest violin, those ways also are appropriate to the viola, and in lots of how you can the fashionable violin. ahead of the Chinrest contains illustrated sections on correct- and left-hand process, features of interpretation through the Baroque, Classical, and early-Romantic eras, and a bit on constructing right intonation.

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Nor are mannerisms that can be traced to the traditional modern-Romantic style valid in Baroque music: these, therefore, should also be avoided, except in deliberate violation of good taste. My purpose in this section of the book, then, is to set down as carefully and clearly as possible a basic, conventional approach to interpretation as it might have been understood by musicians in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: what you choose to do interpretatively, of course, comes under the heading of artistic prerogative, for art often lies in learning the rules and then selectively breaking them.

The Importance of the Bass-Line In order to create the most satisfactory linear effect in the dynamics of a phrase it is first essential to understand its harmonic, melodic, and logical structure. In Baroque music one must always be aware of the bass-line. Whereas in accompanied music this is already composed and audible, in music for solo instrument without figured bass one needs to identify the bass notes, some of which are written but others only inferred. For example, here is some music by Telemann in which the bass notes are obvious: Once the bass-line is identified, the next step is to discern the harmonic structure, hearing each chord and being aware of its duration.

Remember that when a composer wants absolute legato, there will be a slur, but by the end of the slur there will always be a certain degree of diminuendo. A suspension should usually be sustained or swelled, and the first note after the suspension always played more softly, without accent. Bow speed and the pressure of the first finger are crucial factors, as is the use of the fourth finger to control the weight of the bow. An exception may be made when the note occurs at the end of a section and is followed by an anacrusis.

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