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An Explanation.

We regret that the articles on the “Joachim Bowing,” which have appeared in recent issues of The Etude, have been misconstrued by several of our correspondents. The impression seems to prevail among these that the articles in question were intended as a personal attack on Joachim. We therefore wish to assure those who have written to us on this subject that they have absolutely misconstrued our meaning.

The writer of these articles had the privilege of frequently hearing Joachim play in the days when his peculiar art was unapproachable. In those days the Berlin Hochschule was in its infancy. The so-called “Joachim Bowing” was unknown to the musical world. That it has developed into such an important feature of violin-training at the Hochschule cannot, we reiterate, be attributed to Joachim’s own efforts.

But the point we chiefly desire to make is this: the majority of Joachim’s assistants have always been mediocre players; they have assumed the responsibility of “preparing” pupils for Joachim’s class without possessing the requisite knowledge and ability to do so, thoroughly and correctly; and upon them devolves the duty of training the right arm, inasmuch as Joachim never concerns himself with such details of instruction. That the “Joachim Bowing” remains more or less an enigma to all artists of other “schools” is only the natural result of the illogical methods in vogue at the Hochschule. And that these methods are both harmful and illogical is best proven by the fact that, of the many hundreds of gifted players who have received their training at the Hochschule, few, indeed, have gained or merited the esteem of the musical world.

It is the present writer’s opinion that every artist, every earnest, thinking man, should uphold and promulgate what is good in musical art; but it is his equally strong opinion that false principles, false teachings, and successful mediocrity deserve nothing better than relentless opposition.

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