Principles of Violin Playing and Teaching

Principles of Violin Playing and Teaching


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780486498645
Publisher: Dover Publications
Publication date: 03/21/2013
Series: Dover Books on Music
Pages: 128
Sales rank: 200,319
Product dimensions: 8.30(w) x 10.90(h) x 0.30(d)

About the Author

A graduate of Moscow's School of the Philharmonic Society, Ivan Galamian (1903–81) was an instructor at the Russian Conservatory in Paris. For more than 40 years, he taught at the Curtis Institute of Music and the Juilliard School, where he was Head of the Violin Department.
Sally Thomas was among Galamian's prized pupils at Juilliard.

Table of Contents

Preface to the First Edition


Deficiencies of Some Present Day Systems

Chapter One


Absolute and relative values. Types of technique. Technique and correlation. Interpretation. Acoustical elements in performance: “vowels” and “consonants.”

Chapter Two


Body and instrument posture; holding the instrument; left arm; wrist; hand; fingers and thumbs. Movements of the left hand: vertical movement of the fingers; horizontal movement of the fingers; crossing of strings; sliding motion of fingers and hand; vibrato movements. Intonation. Timing. Special technical problems: shifting; double stops; trills; left hand pizzicato; harmonics; chromatic glissando. Fingerings. Vibrato: types of vibrato; study of the vibrato; special problems in the vibrato. 

Chapter Three


Fundamentals: the system of springs; holding the bow; the physical motions; drawing the straight bow stroke. Tone production: the three main factors—speed, pressure, sounding point; the slightly slanted stroke; character and color of the tone and various styles of tone production; faulty tone production. Bowing patterns: legato; detache; fouette or whipped; martele; colie; spiccato; sautille; staccato; flying staccato and flying spiccato; ricochet. Special bowing problems: bow attack; change of bow; alternating fast and slow bows; harmonics; chords.

Chapter Four


Mental alertness in practice. Objectives in practice: “building time”; “interpreting time”; performing time.” The critical ear. Basic exercises: scales; son file; “spring” exercises.


A Few Words for the Teacher

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