Maia Bang Violin Method

Maia Bang Violin Method

by Leopold Auer (Compiler)


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A student of the world-renowned violinist Leopold Auer, Maia Bang acted as the maestro's teaching assistant and preserved his acclaimed methods of instruction in a series of manuals. The seven-volume collection covers every aspect of teaching and learning the instrument, from the beginning to the highest level. This first volume focuses on elementary aspects: the basics of holding the violin, tuning, reading music, scales, and bowing.
Clear and simple in its presentation, the book abounds in Auer's original exercises and suggestions, including helpful notes for fingering, achieving proper intonation, legato playing, and other essentials. Bang's presentation continues Auer's tradition of combining technical exercises with fun-to-play melodies, including duets for teachers and students.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780486834078
Publisher: Dover Publications
Publication date: 05/15/2019
Pages: 96
Product dimensions: 8.10(w) x 10.80(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Violinist Maia Bang (1873–1940) studied with Gudbrand Bøhn in her native Norway and graduated from the Leipzig Conservatory; her other teachers included Henri Marteau and Leopold Auer. She made her debut in Oslo, where she founded a music school, and she later emigrated to the United States.
Famed Hungarian violinist Leopold Auer (1845–1930) was a teacher, conductor, and composer. His Violin Playing as I Teach It, available for decades in a Dover edition, has benefited generations of students.

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The inside of the Violin is like an empty box with a number of small corner-blocks placed at the top, bottom and sides, stabilizing the different parts of the Violin.

It also has a lining which follows the contour of the instrument.

The Bass-bar is a narrow strip of wood glued against the inner surface of the top and running parallel with the outside G-string. It serves to strengthen the top under the heavy pressure of the thickest string on the Violin (the G-string) and equalize the vibrations.

The Sound-post is a small round wooden prop set inside the Violin, between the Top and Back, just behind the right foot of the bridge. Its function is to brace the Top against the pressure of the strings, transmitting as well as regulating their vibrations. It is through this little prop that the whole body of the Violin is rendered resonant. Owing to its great influence upon the tone of the Violin it is rightly called "l'ame du Violon" (the soul of the Violin).

The End Button sets in the lower end of the ribs of the violin and serves the purpose of holding the Tail-piece to which it is fastened with a strand of heavy gut.

The Chin-Rest should have two different purposes:

1. Its first purpose should be to enable the Violin player to hold the Violin firmly and securely.

2. Its second purpose should be to protect the top of the Violin from being touched by the chin of the player.

According to the latest scientific research, the Violin loses more of its tonal volume when being touched on the top than on the back.


The Stick of the bow is made of Pernambuco wood. It is ordinarily round, but occasionally octagonal.


The Frog of the bow is made of Ebony. Fine bows are mounted with silver or gold. The hairs are horse hairs.

Before using the bow tighten the hair by means of the screw in order to impart the necessary tension to the stick. This tension, however, must never be so great as to cause the stick to become straight; the latter should always remain slightly bent towards the hair. Before playing, the hair should be rubbed with a moderate amount of rosin, and after playing, the hair should invariably be loosened. When the hair becomes worn out, or shiny, and refuses to retain the rosin, it must be renewed.

Always Keep Your Violin and Bow in Perfect Condition and Spotlessly Clean!

Great importance attaches to the size of the violin and bow with which a beginner starts. Both must neither be too large nor too small and a mistake in this respect is liable to increase the difficulties of the pupil to a very considerable extent. To make sure, the teacher should always select the violin and bow, as he or she is best qualified to judge of the practical needs of the beginner.

The above is one of the first of Prof. Leopold Auer's teaching principles and remarks to be applied to the general instructive plan of this Method; others of equal importance are mentioned throughout this Method in his customary concise, authoritative manner and always signed with his initials: L.A.

The Authoress


1. Stand erect, with weight of the body resting on the left foot. (See illustration 12, p. 13)

Stand erect, perfectly quiet, with freedom and ease, and always hold your shoulders well to the rear. Such a position will enable freer breathing and better tone production. L.A.

2. Bend the left arm well toward the right, in order to enable your fingers to fall upon the strings from above and with the necessary surety and strength; in fact your elbow must be drawn under the instrument to such an extent that you can see a little part of it. (See Ill. 1, p. 11) Never hold the elbow towards the left. Also remember, that the Violin should never be held in position by the left hand — only by collar-bone and jaw-bone. The hand should always be free and independent for the purpose of playing.

3. Hold the violin in a horizontal and slanting position — the right side lower than the left, place it upon the collar-bone and hold it firmly in position with the jaw-bone upon the chin-rest. (See Ill. 2, p. 11)

4. Never use your left shoulder to support the instrument and hold the latter firmly in position with aid of the collar- and jaw-bones only (see Ill. 4, p. 11). In fact do not allow the Violin to touch your shoulder or use a cushion to support the instrument, as such methods will invariably muffle the tone.

Drawing up of the left shoulder as well as the use of a cushion for supporting the Violin is absolutely wrong and both methods will tend to muffle the tone. A cushion will rob the Violin of a third of its tonal volume. L.A.)

5. The fore-arm, wrist and hand should form a straight line. (See Ill. 7, p. 12) Do not bend the wrist either too far out or too far inward, so as not to touch the body of the violin. Hold the neck of the Violin between the first joint of the thumb and the third joint of the fore-finger and never forget that there must be a very noticeable space between the thumb and neck. (See Ill. 8, p. 12) In addition, do not press the thumb against the neck of the Violin.


1. Place the thumb of the right hand, slightly curved, close to the nut, beneath the stick and opposite to the middle finger, with the other fingers placed side by side on the bow within touch of each other.

2. The thumb must be placed simultaneously against the nut and the stick at the point marked on the bow:


5. Never forget that next to the fingers and the arm itself, the wrist is the most important factor for ultimate mastery of bowing. To play with a stiff or cramped wrist will not bring satisfactory results in violin playing as a loose and flexible wrist is one of the main essentials of correct and artistic bowing.

3. The bow must lie in a slanting position between the first and second joints of the index finger and between the end and the first joint of the little finger. (Russian School).

4. Hold the bow firmly but in doing so, the thumb and fingers must never be strained, and should not touch the hair of the bow.


1. The bow should be drawn straight across the string, parallel to the bridge and midway between the bridge and the fingerboard. It should be drawn evenly, touching only one string at a time.

2. The wrist should be entirely loose and flexible, capable of moving with absolute ease. In fact, the bow can not be drawn straight across the string without raising the wrist at the frog and lowering the wrist at the tip.

A supple, flexible wrist enables the production of a beautiful, singing tone, while a stiff and inflexible wrist invariably produces a tone of harsh, unmusical quality. L.A.

3. The change of bow should not be noticed but be done as inaudibly as possible, and here again a loose wrist is required. In fact, mastery of this most important requirement would be impossible without a flexible and pliant wrist.

4. The bow should never be drawn in a direction too far backward (Fig. A) or too far forward, (Fig. B) but always in a straight line, parallel to the bridge. (Fig. C)

5. The lower arm and wrist should always be moved to and fro with natural freedom and simultaneous action. Do not hold the elbow too near the body and also beware of holding it too high. When playing upon the G string the elbow must always, and quite naturally, be held considerably higher than when playing upon the E string. The faulty method of forcing or pressing the bow with the aid of the shoulder in order to produce a more voluminous tone will never result in anything else but scratching, and this method must be severely condemned.

6. And finally: The straining of muscles and ligaments of both the left and right hands, fingers, wrists, arms and shoulders, through stiff or cramped exertions on the part of the player, must be absolutely avoided and all movements must be carried out with natural freedom and pliancy. Remember: "There should be no effort in art."


Notes: Their Names and Notation

Musical sounds are represented on paper by means of Notes, named after the first seven letters of the alphabet:


These Notes are written on the five Lines and in the four Spaces of the Staff.

In addition the Notes are also written upon and between shorter Lines above and below the Staff, known as Leger Lines:

The G or Violin Clef is always placed at the beginning of the Staff. It encircles the second line (G) and establishes the pitch.

The names of the Notes in succession:


The Sharp (#) raises a note one half tone.

The Flat ([flat]) lowers a note one half tone.

The Natural ([??]) places a note into its original position.


The Staff: — the name for the 5 lines and 4 spaces.

Bars: — the vertical lines which divide the Staff into Measures.

Measures: — the systematized division of the Staff according to Time.

Time is marked at the beginning of a piece of music in fractional numbers.

There are many different kinds of Time. The following illustrate some of the principal varieties.

The arrows in each of the above diagrams indicate the Up, Down or Side movements, for beating time with the hand, just as the director of an orchestra would use.

The upper number, known as the numerator, establishes the number of beats in each measure.

The lower number, known as the denominator, establishes the note-value of each beat.

Always count according to the Numerator. M.B.

At the end of a piece, a heavy double-line serves as the sign of conclusion:


When necessary to repeat a part, or a whole section of a piece, the repetition sign is used:



Their Shape and Time-Value

There are different kinds of notes, each of a definite, precise time-value:

Whole-Note a Half-Note b Quarter-Note c Eighth-Note c Sixteenth-Note e

An apple divided into equal parts will illustrate how the whole-note can be divided:



The rest indicates a pause or interval of silence between two tones. Its time value corresponds exactly with that of the similarly named note:




The Four Strings are tuned in so-called Perfect Fifths. A perfect Fifth is an interval of five (5) diatonic degrees, counted from the first note (prime) in a scale.


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Table of Contents

Author's Preface, 3,
Marching to School, 25,
First Little Etude, 40,
The Babbling Brook, 40,
Second Little Etude, 41,
The Ring, 41,
The Cricket, 42,
Seymour, 45,
Third Etude, 45,
Merry-Go-Round, 46,
America, 47,
The Doll, 51,
Fourth Etude, 52,
The Squirrel, 52,
Fifth Etude, 55,
Old French Song, 58,
Sixth Etude, 59,
Nearer My God to Thee, 60,
Springtime, 61,
The Burgomaster, 62,
Dolly's Little Minuet, 63,
Duet, 66,
Think of God in Your Youth, 67,
Black Roses, 70,
Rustic Dance, 72,
The Big Crow, 75,
Minuet, 76,
A Norwegian Valdres Dance, 77,
The Orient, 79,
Seventh Etude, 81,
There Is Music in the Air, There Is Music Everywhere, 81,
Seven Women, 82,
Carry Me Back to Old Virginny, 83,
Happy School Days, 87,
Eighth Etude, 89,
Ninth Etude, 90,
The Boy and the Girl, 91,
Home, Sweet Home, 92,
The March of Spain, 92,
Old Pilgrims Song, 94,
Tenth and Last Etude, 95,
Dear Old Mother, 96,

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