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Selected Content from the Violin Department

Content is listed chronologically in the order originally published by "The Etude".
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    Vibrato. - March, 1900

    The vibrato, more perhaps than any other feature of violin-playing, excites the ambition of youthful players, and seems to represent to them the very pinnacle of musical joy and aspiration. This oscillation of the finger is to them a constant... Read More

    Old Violin. - March, 1900

    Recently a gentleman informed me that his little son was the possessor of a fine Nicholas Amati violin, genuine beyond any possibility of a doubt. When I questioned him as to its state of preservation, his face lit up with... Read More

    Selection of Pieces - March, 1900

    To the foregoing suggestions may be added a word of advice which should interest all those engaged in teaching the young. Too often, in the selection of easy pieces for the young and inexperienced pupil, the mistake is made of... Read More

    Question Answered - March, 1900

    Our correspondent who wishes to be advised on the question of supplementary work in connection with "Henning's Method" has made a request not easily complied with except on the broadest possible basis of suggestion. "Henning's Method," like many works of... Read More

    Technic in General. - March, 1900

    Before taking up the subject of technic (in the next issue of The Etude), let us first get rid of the idea that violin technic is confined to that particular work which the left hand is called upon to perform.... Read More

    The American Violiniste At Home. - June, 1900

    When the American girl leaves home and friends for that far-away country of golden musical hope, she little realizes that the relinquishment of customs and comforts inseparably associated with her life will cause a gap for which no "Gemuethlichkeit," no sincere hospitality, can amply make amends. Read More

    Tuning the Violin. - June, 1900

    A well-known artist tells the following excellent anecdote: One Friday morning he was visited by a very small boy who carried a very large green bag. This green bag proved to contain a fiddle of the Christmas-tree variety; and, when... Read More

    The Violinist's Bible. - June, 1900

    Some of the "Etudes" by Kreutzer and Fiorillo may, without the slightest hesitation, be declared to be of little or no merit. Often, also, the progress of these studies is illogical, if not actually absurd. But, with all their shortcomings, they are works of monumental strength, as indispensable to-day as they were many years ago, and doubtless will continue to be in the years to come. Read More

    Paganini's Prison Life - October, 1900

    When Paganini paid his first visit to Paris, he was amazed (and perhaps not a little pleased) to be confronted at every turn by the most ludicrous caricatures of himself. But what particularly impressed him was a picture representing him in his lonely cell expiating his crime at the altar of his beloved art. Read More

    Pedagogues, European and American. - July, 1901

    In the United States the opinion prevails that Euro­pean (more especially Ger­man) teachers are necessa­rily possessed of uncommon attainments. In Europe, more especially in Germany, it is the general belief among pedagogues that we have no good teachers in the... Read More

    A Technical Evil. - July, 1901

    It is difficult to understand  why players who have already acquired a fair degree of digital skill persist in ignoring one of the safest, and at the same time one of the most transparent, principles of left-hand technic. I allude... Read More

    An Interesting Violin. - July, 1901

    It seems that we are to be “startled,” periodically, by the grave announcement that the long-hidden secret of the old Italian masters has been discovered. Like the mystery of aërial navigation, the art of making great violins continues to remain... Read More

    How Fiddle-Strings Are Made. - July, 1901

    So many foolish notions are current regarding the manufacture of strings, and, even among violinists, ignorance on this subject so largely prevails, that an extract from Mr. Ed. Heron Allen’s chapter on strings should prove interesting. “Strings for the violin... Read More

    Woman's Position In the Violin-World. - September, 1901

    It may come as a surprise to those who associate woman and the violin with the "innovations" of quite recent years, that two young girls should have achieved success as violinists so long ago as did the Milanolla sisters, for it is hardly more than thirty years ago that the girl, more especially the American girl, who appeared in the street with a violin under her arm was generally regarded as a new, if not ridiculous, species of feminity. Read More

    Women As Orchestral Players: An American Point Of View. - October, 1901

    The musical conditions prevailing in the United States are obviously unlike those existing in Great Britain, as described by our English correspondent in her article: "English Women in the Orchestra." Indeed, there are no indications at the present time, either on our musical surface or beneath it, which point to that "emancipation" so optimistically awaited by our correspondent. And overburdened as we, too, are with teachers, players, and singers, we nevertheless fail to understand how this oversupply can create for woman a new field of activity for which, it must be perfectly clear, she is unfit in various ways. Read More

    English Women In The Orchestra. - October, 1901

    Those of us here in England who watch carefully the trend of matters musical, and who notice "which way the wind blows," know well that the present opportunity for the musician lies in the orchestra. We are overburdened with music-teachers, with singers, solo pianists, violinists, and organists; but the supply of capable orchestral players only meets the demand. Read More

    The Unique Operation Of The Century. - October, 1901

    The Philadelphia Press is responsible for a graphic account of an experiment which, to use its own language, is the unique operation of the century. It appears that a young man from Quakertown, Pa., engaged in the new and interesting industry of making corn-cob fiddles at a period of his existence when most infants have an insatiable craving for soothing syrups. Read More

    Teaching the Beginner. - December, 1901

    In the November issue of The Etude the first two questions bearing on the subject "How do You Teach a Beginner?" were discussed for the benefit of all readers who are interested in teaching young and in­experienced players. Let us... Read More

    Some Interesting Statements - December, 1901

    The following statements are said to have been made, in a recent interview, by Camilla Urso: "There is a regular course of study to be pursued for one who aims to become a fine violinist, as there is for one... Read More

    The Joachim Bowing. - December, 1901

    Some years ago, and again quite recently, I freely discussed this question of "Joachim Bowing" with reputable artists who had studied with Joachim when the Hochschule was in its infancy. These men, without exception, made the positive statement that, in those days, there was absolutely nothing known concerning any system of bowing based on Joachim's right-arm achievements. They, too, have learned the origin of that dismal failure known as the "Joachim Bowing." Read More

    Dollar Fiddle. - February, 1902

    Gentlemen, a Guarnerius fiddle is not Fifth-Avenue real estate. Read More

    Again, the Joachim Bowing. - February, 1902

    If I have never said so before, I wish now most emphatically to assert that Joachim is not primarily responsible for the "system" of bowing now in vogue at the Hochschule. It is quite true that he has encouraged others in foolish speculations, and has made no effort to dissuade his disciples from their illogical views. It is even true that his encouragement of the "Joachim Bowing" would seem to indicate his belief in its merits, and that nowadays, at least, he sees no good reason for receding from a position which, originally, he doubtless did not intend to take. Read More

    A Word About Strings. - February, 1902

    Every player should be provided with a string-gauge, for without one it is quite impossible to select strings of the requisite thickness. Amateurs, and even professionals, often choose thin strings, believing that these enable them to produce a better and more brilliant tone. Read More

    Fiddle-Dealers of the Present Day. - April, 1902

    Mr. Herbert Kelcey, the actor, who is said to be an enthusiastic lover of fiddles, has evidently had his share  of disagreeable experiences in collecting old violins. It is also evident, however, that he has a higher opinion of American... Read More

    A New Invention. - April, 1902

    Among the latest inventions of this panoramic and progressive age, one, we are told, will deeply interest all fiddle-lovers. This invention is in the form of a new violin, hot from the workshop of Mr. Stroh. We say advisedly, "in... Read More

    An Explanation. - April, 1902

    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... Read More

    Of General Interest. - May, 1902

    Attention is again called to the questions which, beginning with the April, 1902, issue of The Etude, will be discussed under the above caption. Again it may be advisable to emphasize the fact that the majority of players are wholly... Read More

    The Rode Studies. - May, 1902

    If long-time allegiance  to a man or his works counts for anything in this world, the universal tribute paid to Rode must be regarded as the strongest attestation of that violinist’s exceptional worth. A century of violinists, of every nationality,... Read More

    The Habit of Correcting. - May, 1902

    The majority of pupils do not realize that many of their difficulties are chiefly and di­rectly the result of their own negligence. However persistent the conscientious teacher may be in his efforts to impress this truth upon his pupils, his... Read More

    Dreams and Realities. - July, 1902

    This is the time of year when Europe-mad students are either feverishly strapping their trunks or sighing for the blissful au­tumn day when they shall set foot on the shores of the Fatherland. For Germany—by which is meant Berlin, of... Read More

    The Rode Studies (Continued). - July, 1902

    The unreliability of tempo marks is clearly proven by the tempo in­dicated for the fifth Caprice in the Vieuxtemps edition. Rode desired that this Caprice be played in a moderate tempo; but even though he had failed to give the... Read More

    How to Study. - July, 1902

    A London periodical called the Music Student, and bear­ing on its title-page the grave announcement that it is "a scholastic musical monthly for professor and pupil," is presenting to its readers, in instalments, an article entitled: "The Secret of the... Read More

    The Rode Studies (Continued). - August, 1902

    No study could be better calculated to develop strength and independence of the forearm and wrist than the eighth Caprice. It should be played in the upper quarter of the bow, and in the following manner: The upper arm should... Read More

    The Staccato Dot. - August, 1902

    A correspondent asks me to explain the apparent inconsistencies in the employment of the staccato sign, and lays some stress on the fact that many admirable violinists either disregard the sign altogether or give it a musical meaning differing from... Read More

    Another Stradivarius. - August, 1902

    Now let us see by what an absurdly simple process of reasoning Mrs. X possessed herself of the knowledge that her fiddle is a genuine Stradivarius. Read More

    Wait Until Ready To Teach. - October, 1902

    ...the student of music who enters the profession before his studies are completed has only two courses open to him: Either he must go through life in the lowest ranks of the profession,--the musical hewer of wood and drawer of water,--receiving the poorest prices for his work, or else he must try to carry on his studies in addition to doing his professional work. Read More

    Concentration: How May It Be Acquired? - October, 1902

    The young student is constantly exhorted to concentrate his mind upon his work. He reads: "Two hours of concentrated practice accomplish more than four with the mind wandering." And, again: "Concentrate your mind upon the matter in hand during every... Read More

    The Rode Studies. - October, 1902

    This is one of Rode's most admirable studies for wrist and forearm development. It should be played at the upper part of the bow, and the pupil should not attempt to play it rapidly until much careful work has been done in a slow tempo. The difficulties for the left hand are easily understood by most players, and their mastery requires only the usual toil and persistence. But it is quite a different matter with the right arm. The average student's attention is riveted on the wrist, and the important work of loosening the elbow receives either little or no attention. Read More

    "Strads"--Vintage of 1716. - October, 1902

    During the past twelve months or more [the writer] has been the recipient of many anxious inquiries regarding the probable genuineness of instruments possessed by the writers of these letters--instruments described by their owners with a pathetic devotion to details of varnish and structure, and, in most cases, naïvely offered to him at the price of valuable real estate. Read More

    This Department. - October, 1902

    It seems advisable, at this time, however, to say a few words regarding the aims and general purpose of the violin department. Its chief aims are to stimulate thought, to put earnest students in possession of facts which, too often, are encountered only along the hard road of experience, and to relieve amateurs of many fallacies and misconceptions. Its general purpose is to be entertaining and instructive, to combine interesting information with serious pedagogical effort. Read More

    The Violin - November, 1902

    CONDUCTED BY GEORGE LEHMANN.   ARTISTS' TESTIMONIALS A Chicago firm is sending a neat little pamphlet to professionals and amateur violinists throughout the country. This pamphlet at once engages the recipient's attention, for, aside from its various half-tone reproductions... Read More

    The Rode Studies. The Twentieth Caprice. - January, 1903

    In this study, and in all compositions of a similar character and tempo, the pupil will always find it advisable to count the eighths instead of the quarters. It should never be imagined that such a course is a confession... Read More

    Mr. Jaroslav Kocian's Art. - January, 1903

    What are the virtues of Mr. Jaroslav Kocian's art that have so entranced his European admirers? We have made a most conscientious effort to discover these virtues, but the more carefully we have listened to the young Bohemian the more thoroughly we have been impressed with the absurdity of European opinion. The European critics who have hysterically sung his praises have led us to believe that, musically and instrumentally, he is Jan Kubelik's superior. But we have long since discovered the true worth of the European critic's opinion. His authority is rapidly waning, and in the very near future his drivel will be utterly disregarded on this side of the Atlantic. Read More

    Another Invention. - January, 1903

    Another device has been added to the long list of inventions intended to improve the fiddle of the present day. It is called "The Grienauer Diagonal Tension." Its inventor, Mr. Grienauer, is a violoncellist residing in New York. Read More

    The Three Fields of Labor. - January, 1903

    It is true enough that happiness is not easily found in orchestral life. Nor is the material compensation adequate for long years of toil and devotion to one's art. Neither is the teacher's life a bed of fragrant roses. But both the teacher and the orchestra player can, if they but try, make life less dismal and profitless than they usually succeed in making it. Read More

    The Soloist - February, 1903

    THE SOLOIST.1 In the January issue of The Etude, under the caption of "Three Fields of Labor," we touched upon the violinist's hopes, his aims, and his ambitions, hinting at present conditions in the United States, and promising to take... Read More

    Harmonics and Versatility - March, 1904

    A writer for The Strad, who is obviously impressed with the narrow views and the one-sided training of a deplorable number of our players, has a few common-sense things to say which we consider worthy of repetition. Says he:—  ... Read More

    Hanslick's Impressions of Famous Violinists. IV. Joseph Joachim. - March, 1904

    "The most important  event of the past week,"     writes Hanslick, in 1861,  "was the appearance of Joseph Joachim. It is quite true that Joseph Joachim, the prodigy, was well known to the Viennese public years ago, but Joachim,... Read More

    The Violin's Breath--The Bow - March, 1904

    How few students ever have an ambition to own a good bow. Of Stradivarius and Amati they dream for years, but for Tourte, Lupot, and other good bow makes they care little. This is one chief reason why they... Read More

    To the Young Teacher - March, 1904

    "Without passion," said Theodore Parker, "this world would be a howling wilderness." Without passion genius loses half its geniality. But passion is not genius, for all that, any more than it is the world. They who try to make... Read More

    The Physiology of Bowing. - July, 1904

    Under the title, "The Physiology of Bowing," Dr. F. A.    Steinhausen, a German physician, has published a book which should be peculiarly interesting to all violinists. It is unfortunate, however, that the book is published in the German language,... Read More

    A Few Words With Professor Sevcik. - July, 1904

    A few years ago the name of Sevcik (pronounced Shave-chek) was known only to a few of his pupils. To-day he is one of the most-talked-of persons in the violin world, and holds a similar position to that of Marchesi... Read More

    Brevities of Summer Orchestras. - March, 1906

    Thirty years ago, salaries were $30 a week to members of orchestras. Salaries are now less because symphony orchestra men have brought down prices. They now work for continental wages. Women orchestra players will work cheaply. They bring down the rates for such work. The average salary for orchestra players is now from $10 to $15 a week. Read More

    Music in the 17th Century. - March, 1906

    A most interesting glimpse into the musical life of the 17th century is afforded by the illustration on this page, which is a reproduction of an oil painting in the DeWit Museum at Leipzig. Read More

    Violin Study Abroad. - March, 1906

    Speaking of the comparative merits of foreign violin schools, a Boston artist, who has studied in several centres, says: "I found my life in Brussels very congenial. We were, however, obliged to play great concertos until we were fairly worn out. Everything was sacrificed for public appearance. Read More

    Erroneous Ideas About Violin-Making. - March, 1906

    I should like, first of all, for the sake of clearness, to contradict a certain popular theory, according to which machines are used in the manufacture of violins, violas, violoncellos and basses. I am personally quite ignorant as to whether such machines exist and where they are to be found--certainly not at Mark-Neukirchen, in spite of the vast quantities of instruments which are produced there in one year; and as I paid special attention to this point, I should like to state the fact with all the greater emphasis, and to repudiate all statements to the contrary. Read More

    Where Ignorance Is Bliss. - March, 1906

    These collectors rarely play the violin. They know nothing about the art of violin making, either ancient or modern, except what they have gleaned from extravagantly written and unreliable books on the subject. Read More

    Brahms and Remenyi. - July, 1906

    In a book recently published, entitled "Remenyi, Musician and Man,"* a chapter devoted to Remenyi's early friendship for the great composer will surely interest all violinists. Many things which Remenyi is quoted to have said are entirely new to us. Some of the alleged statements seem, to us at least, incredible. We are in no position, however, to question their authenticity, and since the account of Remenyi's experiences with Brahms is, to say the least, extremely interesting, we reprint it without expressing our own or others' opinions. Read More

    Originality. - July, 1906

    Originality--as we attempted to elucidate to the violinist just under discussion--is easily attainable by any player, that is, originality as this violinist apprehends, or rather misapprehends, the term. Read More

    Carl Halir - March, 1910

    The world of violin playing has sustained the loss of another great violin artist by the death of Carl Halir, the German violinist, whose demise occurred recently at Berlin. Halir occupied a place in the very first rank of German violinists. He was so long associated with Joachim, as a pupil, as a member of the Joachim Quartet, and as a violin teacher in the Hochschule in Berlin, that he possessed all the traditions and ideas of his illustrious master. Read More

    Some Violin Questions Answered - March, 1910

    M. C.—Jean Baptiste Vuillaume was the greatest of a famous family of Frence violin makers. He was born in 1798 and died in 1875. He early removed from his birthplace at  Mirecourt to Paris, where he resided mostly until his... Read More

    "E" Strings - April, 1910

    "Of the different makes of E string there seems to be no limit, and almost a book could be written about them; but for all solo purposes, quartet and chamber music playing in general, there is nothing to equal... Read More

    The Ole Bull Centenary - April, 1910

    All Norway, and his birthplace, Bergen in particular, celebrated the 100th anniversary of the birth of the great Norwegian violinist Ole Bull, on February 5th. There were memorial concerts, and a volume of letters written during the youth of... Read More

    About Tuning - April, 1910

    It is remarkable how little attention violin teachers as a rule give to teaching their pupils to tune the violin and to keep it in proper condition for playing. Yet this is absolutely of the first importance. It is... Read More

    A Past Generation of Violinists - April, 1910

    As one generation succeeds another, it is interesting to note how men rise up who seem not only capable of grasping the needs of their own generation, but also of appreciating the probable line of future development. Such men... Read More

    Violinists Classified - April, 1910

    "Lancastrian," a noted English critic of violin playing, makes an interesting classification of violinists, living and dead, in the Strad magazine as follows:   "Instinctively, in my mind, I arrange violinists into classes, or lines, much as follows: Firstly,... Read More

    Some Violin Questions Answered - April, 1910

    A. P. H.—You are quite right as to the dates of the birth and death of Jacob Stainer—1621-1683. If the violin you speak of bears an earlier date, it is likely an imitation and not a genuine Stainer, always... Read More

    Fritz Kreisler on Violin Playing. - August, 1910

    Edited by ROBERT BRAINE   FRITZ KREISLER ON VIOLIN PLAYING. The views of Fritz Kreisler on the violin art are always of interest, since he occupies a position as one of the world's greatest violin artists, and aside from... Read More

    The London Violin Market. - August, 1910

    London is the world's greatest violin market as regards Cremona violins and string, instruments of artistic excellence generally. There are more real experts in the art of judging old violins in London than in any other city in the... Read More

    Col Legno. - August, 1910

    The words "Col Legno" placed over a passage in violin playing mean "with the wood," and indicate that the strings are to be struck with the stick of the bow, and not the hair. The bow is turned in... Read More

    Dvorak's Humoresque - August, 1910

    It is doubtful if anything is seen more frequently upon programs of violin music just at present than the Humoresque, by Anton Dvorak. It is used in recitals by the world's greatest violinists, and never fails to make a... Read More

    Views of a Royal Academy Professor. - October, 1910

    Rowsby Woof, professor in the Royal Academy of Music, in London, has been giving some interesting views on violin teaching and playing to the London Strad. Professor Woof is a great believer in the periodical examinations for music pupils,... Read More

    Self-Taught Masters of the Violin. - November, 1911

    It is astonishing at what an early age some violinists begin to rely on themselves. In a lecture in Vienna recently, Bronislaw Huberman, an eminent European violinist, who was a noted prodigy in his childhood, stated that regular instruction ceased with him at the age of 12. After that he was his own teacher. Read More

    Popularity of the Piano. - March, 1912

    One cause of the immense popularity of the piano is the fact that it is ready for use at a moment's notice. With two tunings a year a good piano will stand in tune fairly well, and in these days of perfection in the manufacture of pianos, repairs are rarely necessary. Contrast this instant availability with the case of the violin, where the player has to keep the instrument properly strung, and constantly to keep tuning it. Read More

    Physical Culture For The Hand - March, 1912

    We are all familiar with the stretching of the hand by corks, that is, by placing corks between the first, second and third fingers of the left hand, and pushing them down to the sockets of the fingers. The corks are left in this position several minutes daily, the object being to develop the stretching capacity of the fingers. Read More

    Show the Pupil How. - March, 1912

    Many violin teachers will contend that, as many of their pupils come for only a single lesson a week, and that possibly but for thirty minutes, they cannot afford to devote so much of the lesson hour to these matters. They would find, however, that their pupils would make far better progress in the long run, if they would devote half or even all of the lesson period for a few lessons, to instruction in tuning and care of the violin, until the pupil has mastered it. Read More

    Laziness of Pupils. - March, 1912

    Man is by nature a lazy animal, and is, on occasion, turned aside by very slight obstacles. Read More

    Turn of the Bow. - March, 1912

    Teachers frequently neglect to instruct their pupils in what is known as the "turn" of the bow--the little connecting motion of the wrist after the stroke has reached its limit. Read More

    The Proper Position. - March, 1912

    Some difference of opinion exists among violinists and teachers as to the proper position in which the player should stand when playing. Read More

    Violin Duets. - March, 1912

    This list contains some of the most interesting and melodious violin duets in musical literature, and some of those best adapted for the use of students. Read More

    Gallery of Celebrated Musicians - World Famous Violinists - June, 1912

    MISCHA ELMAN.  Elman was born at Talnoi, Russia, January 21, 1891. He studied at the Royal Music School in Odessa under Fiedelman, first appearing in public in 1899. Professor Leopold Auer was a member of the audience, and at his... Read More

    Some Violin Questions Answered - October, 1914

    It is a great misfortune to choose a profession for which one has not the requisite talent. You had best go to a really first rate violinist, one with a reputation in the musical world, and pay him a fee to examine you as to talent, and to advise you. Such an examination might save you years of misapplied labor in a profession for which you are not fitted. Read More

    Kreutzer, Kreutzer and Again Kreutzer - November, 1915

    The standard etudes, which some of the Germans call the "bread and butter" studies—Kreutzer, Fiorillo and Rode— should be studied, reviewed and re-reviewed, until the pupil knows them thoroughly. Many violin students are satisfied to go over these studies only... Read More

    The Trick of Producing Tone - November, 1915

    By E. W. Morphy   Every violin student who has once heard the broad, soulful tone of a truly great artist is to a more or less degree fired with a desire to acquire the same valuable asset. If... Read More

    Henri Vieuxtemps, A Prodigy Who Grew Up - November, 1915

    Henri Vieuxtemps was a giant among violinists of the nineteenth century. He was great as a virtuoso, as a composer and as a teacher. Moreover, he was notable as an example of a prodigy who made good in after... Read More

    Maud Powell - Two Types of Violin Playing - November, 1918

    Miss Maud Powell, the greatest violinist of her sex, in a native of Peru, Ind. Wm. Lewes, of Chicago, was her early teacher; afterward she studied with Schradieck in Leipsic, Dancla in Paris and, Joachim in Berlin. She has made extensive concert tours in most parts of the civilized world, and was the first player to introduce the violin concertos of Arensky, Dvoràk, Saint-Saëns (C min.) and Lalo (G maj.) to America. She has made some very effective transcriptions of various songs and piano pieces for the violin, and has been a contributor to The Etude from time to time. In 1904 she married, and is known in private life as Mrs. H. Godfrey Turner. Her success as a violinist has been a very great source of inspiration among girls who have taken up the study of the violin; indeed, her influence in this particular way has been so wide-reaching that one could scarcely overestimate it. Read More

    Department for Violinists - December, 1918

    Edited by ROBERT BRAINE   "If All Would Play First Violin We Could Get No Orchestra Together."—R. SCHUMANN   "Cheap Violins" Why will people buy cheap, worthless violins to "learn on"? It seems to be owing to some queer... Read More

    Absolute Pitch for Violinists - July, 1920

    A correspondent writes to know whether it is necessary for a violin student to have the gift of "absolute pitch," in order to rise very high in the profession. First, let us consider the capacity of the ear to... Read More

    Violin Questions Answered - July, 1920

    M. A.—Your only course is to send your violin to an expert for examination, and appraisal. You will find the names of several dealers in old violins in the advertising columns of The Etude, who can do this work... Read More

    What the Piano Student Could Learn from the Violin Teacher - January, 1922

    If given a certain page of music to study, the average pupil plays it through time after time in the hope that it will improve of itself, the Sevcik method would be to play it through at speed, and to observe the places that do not go well, or at all. Having picked out the difficult passages, the pupil then commences to dissect them to see what the difficulty really is, and if it is a combination of difficulties, to master them one by one, and then combined. A favorite prescription of Sevcik's is: "Jede Vier Noten Hia Und Zurúck." That means "every four notes forward and backwards." It is not so unusual to find some pianist who has taken four notes of a passage, then the next four notes, and so on. But to Sevcik that was objectionable. He wanted the first four notes, then the four notes starting with the second note, then four notes starting with the third note, and always forwards and then back. In other words if we call the first four notes one, two, three, and four, the order of practice would be: one, two three four, four three two one, -- first very slowly, and gradually more rapidly, until the four notes can be played more rapidly than the tempo calls for. Then two, three four five, -- five four three, two, -- and so on to the end of the passage. Read More

    Otokar Sevcik - The Violin Student's Fundamentals - March, 1924

    Too often it occurs that students who hope for a virtuoso career are disappointed; and when they turn to orchestra or ensemble playing they find that their command of rhythm and bowing is not sufficiently well developed. I want all pupils who study my system to be all-around musicians, and therefore have incorporated in my studies exercises to develop command of every rhythm and bowing, even to the rag-time or syncopated rhythms which are so overworked in this country. All parts of the bow should be evenly developed; and students should especially work for control of the bow at the frog. Read More

    Violin Questions Answered - November, 1925

    By MR. ROBERT BRAINE Vibrato Trouble M. B. P.—I cannot tell exactly where your trouble lies without hearing and watching you play. I have no doubt however, that when doing the vibrato your left arm shakes the violin, causing the... Read More

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