File Name: principles of violin playing and teaching .zip
Report Download. Galamian's students who felt that his teaching methods should be made a matter of record and his practice devices delivered into the hands of the present-day student, whenever that "present day" might be. The undersigned was awarded the opportunity of doing the writing; an experience, may I say, that has been of inestimable value.
There are many systems of violin playing, some good, some fair, some bad. The system that I have tried to present in the following pages is the one that I believe to be the most practical, but I do not contend that it is the only right or only possible one. Putting a system into a book, even writing a book like this, is a problematical undertaking because no printed work can ever replace the live teacher-student relationship.
The very best that a teacher can give to a student is the individualized, unique approach, which is too personal a thing to be put down on paper anyway. The actual writing of this book has taken many years. It was begun at the gentle urging of several of my students whose faith in the project has kept it alive. The first seven years were given over to the collecting of data from lessons in the studio and to the making of the first complete draft of the work. The copy for this first draft was prepared by Miss Elizabeth Green of the University of Michigan faculty.
During the next two years the book underwent several changes in format and one complete revision. In the tenth year Miss Green resumed work on the project in order to complete the final manuscript which, in time, became the book you now hold in your hands.
I should like to express my appreciation for her long interest in this project. Nobody can study, nobody can teach from a book alone. What a book can do is to help. It can do so by mapping out the general principles as such, and by trying to clarify many of the problems involved.
Whether the efforts expended herein have been successful, only the conscientious reader will be able to judge. Before proceeding to the body of the work, I wish to thank Mr. Gustave Rosseels for reading the final manuscript and also to acknowledge the valuable assistance rendered by Dr.
Frederick Neumann of the University of Richmond faculty. For the moment, I shall limit myself to the singling out of three major items. I do so because they are common to almost every system of violin playing and also because they concern the very foundation of all violin teaching.
The first of these is the contemporary insistence upon compliance with rigid rules for everyone and everything that has to do with violin playing. The making of rigid rules is a dangerous procedure, since rules as such should be made for the good of the students rather than using the students to glorify the rules.
In violin playing, as in any other art, that which can be formulated is not a set of unyielding rules but rather a group of general principles that are broad enough to cover all cases, yet flexible enough to be applied to any particular case.
The teacher must realize that every student is an individual with his own personality, his own characteristic physical and mental make-up, his own approach to the instrument and to music. Once the teacher recognizes this, he must treat the student accordingly.
Naturalness should be his first guiding principle. Right is only what is natural for the particular student, for only what is natural is comfortable and efficient. The efforts of the teacher, therefore, must be devoted to making every student as comfortable as possible with the instrument.
In this connection it is distressing to think of the many unnatural theories of technique which have come and gone—and of the new ones which still keep on coming—that have forced students into a constant struggle against Nature herself and consequently against a natural approach to the instrument.
Such a battle has never yet been won by anybody. The obsession for rigid rules with their resultant disregard for the principle of naturalness gives us our first concern. The second, which is closely related to the first, is the failure to realize that however important the individual elements in violin technique are, more important still is the understanding of their interdependence in a mutual, organic relationship.
If, to give an example, the bow is held after one fashion, then the functioning of the fingers, hand, wrist, and arm will fall into a certain organic pattern. If the bow-grip is changed, one must permit all other parts of the hand and arm to find their corresponding organic adjustment and their new natural balance, one with the other. The teacher should be prepared to deal with such differences in action pattern from one individual to another by making compromises to fit the particular student.
Such adjustments are a personal thing. They cannot be formulated into rigid rules for all players. Thirdly, I would like to point to the one-sided overemphasis on the purely physical and mechanical aspects of violin technique, the ignoring of the fact that what is paramount in importance is not the physical movements as such but the mental control over them.
The key to facility and accuracy and, ultimately, to complete mastery of violin technique is to be found in the relationship of mind to muscles, that is, in the ability to make the sequence of mental command and physical response as quick and as precise as possible. Therein resides the fundamental principle of violin technique that is being overlooked and neglected by far too many players and teachers.
It is only logical, then, that the technique of the violin be firmly founded on these three elements in terms of beauty of tone, accuracy of intonation, and precise control of rhythm. Technique has to combine with interpretation for successful performance, and the favorable issue of the performance depends upon the following factors:.
The Physical Factor: consisting of a the anatomical make-up of the individual, in particular the shape of his fingers, hands, and arms, plus the flexibility of his muscular apparatus; b the physiological functioning with regard to the playing movements and the muscular actions that bring them about;. The Mental Factor: the ability of the mind to prepare, direct, and supervise the muscular activity;.
The Aesthetic-emotional Factor: the capacity to understand and feel the meaning of the music, plus the innate talent to project its expressive message to the listener. In violin playing we have to deal with two distinct categories of values.
One of these can be called the absolute or unchangeable values and the other, the relative or changeable values. As the name implies, the first category is not affected by alterations of circumstances, whereas the second category may be modified or varied by the style of the period, a change of locale, or the taste of the performer.
Among the absolute values are a the necessity for total technical control and b the requisite of completely unqualified knowledge of the music to be played in all of its details, including a thorough understanding of its harmonic and formal structure. These requirements are obviously timeless. Certainly the ability to play in tune and in rhythm and to produce all of the varieties of tone colors and bowings likewise can never go out of fashion. Enlarging upon this, even though a tone color produced by a certain type of vibrato might be contrary to the taste of a particular place or time might not be in style or in fashion , the ability to produce it cannot become obsolete, and, thus, it has a definite place within the inventory of the absolute values of a complete technical equipment.
Conversely, the relative values deal with the interpretive side of the performance. Since this subjective element is vitally influenced by taste, style, and fashion which all vary from individual to individual, from place to place, and from one period to another , interpretation has to be classified as a changeable value.
The music of Bach serves as an example. This is a highly controversial question, and no conclusive answer is possible. One school of thought condemns its use, because the bowing was supposedly unknown at the time. Another school defends the use of the spiccato with the argument that if Bach had known this bowing he would certainly have approved its use. There is no way to settle this argument.
Similar controversies have been raging about other aspects of Bach interpretations, such as the use of crescendos and decrescendos which are frowned upon by purists , as well as the use of rubato, vibrato, and so on. This example may serve to indicate the wide scope within which individual interpretations of the same piece of music can vary from one another and also why everything that has to do with interpretation belongs, of necessity, to the relative or changeable values. In the long run, every student who aspires to the level of true artistry will have to form his own opinion, make his own choice, and take his own responsibility.
Therefore, the important point, fundamentally, is that the student must become fully equipped with all of the technical tools so that his musical ideas may be fully realized. Technique is the ability to direct mentally and to execute physically all of the necessary playing movements of left and right hands, arms, and fingers. A complete technique means the development of all of the elements of the violinistic skill to the highest level. In short, it is the complete mastery over all of the potentialities of the instrument.
It implies the ability to do justice, with unfailing reliability and control, to each and every demand of the most refined musical imagination. It enables the player, when he has formed an ideal concept of how any work should sound, to live up to this concept in actual performance. A technique which fulfills these ultimate requirements can be called an accomplished interpretive technique.
It is the fundamental goal for which one must strive, because it, and it alone, opens the way to the highest artistic. Open navigation menu. Close suggestions Search Search. User Settings. Skip carousel. Carousel Previous. Carousel Next. What is Scribd? Find your next favorite book Become a member today and read free for 30 days Start your free 30 days. Book Information Home Books Music. Create a List. Download to App.
Length: pages 2 hours. Description A celebrated instructor explains his philosophy of teaching and practice methods, including the appropriate combination of technique and interpretation. Ivan Galamian, a longtime Juilliard professor, incorporates aspects of both the Russian and French schools in a system both ingenious and logical. His tutelage has produced astonishing results with students, many of whom rank among the world's most acclaimed concert artists and orchestral concertmasters.
Suitable for violin teachers and students of all ages and levels, this guide presents general principles and offers practical suggestions related to posture, holding the instrument and bow, vibrato movements, intonation, tone production, bowing patterns, double stops, trills, and many other facets of playing and practice.
This edition features a new Introduction by Sally Thomas, violin virtuoso and Galamian's former student. Home Books Music. About the author IG.
Related authors. Related to Principles of Violin Playing and Teaching. Related Categories. Technique has to combine with interpretation for successful performance, and the favorable issue of the performance depends upon the following factors: 1. The Physical Factor: consisting of a the anatomical make-up of the individual, in particular the shape of his fingers, hands, and arms, plus the flexibility of his muscular apparatus; b the physiological functioning with regard to the playing movements and the muscular actions that bring them about; 2.
The Mental Factor: the ability of the mind to prepare, direct, and supervise the muscular activity; 3. Start your free trial.
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All of the original material is included plus additional material by longtime Juilliard faculty member Sally Thomas, who was his teaching assistant for many years, and some brief biographical information. Great information, since my copy went walkabout years ago. It should arrive by Thursday. I'm a beginner, looking for more of a Graham, Galamian's book is rightly considered one of the classic works of violin history. Although it would be an exaggeration to say that his ideas are completely original he was the first person to systematically address the idea that the purpose of practice is strengthening the connection between mind and fingers by presenting the mind with ever increasing difficulty of puzzles.
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Report Download. Galamian's students who felt that his teaching methods should be made a matter of record and his practice devices delivered into the hands of the present-day student, whenever that "present day" might be. The undersigned was awarded the opportunity of doing the writing; an experience, may I say, that has been of inestimable value. The book has taken some twelve years to produce in its present form. It is the result of several approaches: of first importance, the many sessions where Mr. Galamian dictated the ideas presented herein; secondly, the rereading, on his part, of the manuscript as it developed; thirdly, the first-hand contact of the writer with Mr.
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