Before the Chinrest

9780253223180: Paperback
Release Date: 16th July 2012

Dimensions: 229 x 279

Number of Pages: 168

Series Publications of the Early Music Institute

Indiana University Press

Before the Chinrest

A Violinist's Guide to the Mysteries of Pre-Chinrest Technique and Style

Paperback / £14.99

Drawing on the principles of Francesco Geminiani and four decades of experience as a baroque and classical violinist, Stanley Ritchie offers a valuable resource for anyone wishing to learn about 17th-18th-and early 19th-century violin technique and style. While much of the work focuses on the technical aspects of playing the pre-chinrest violin, these approaches are also applicable to the viola, and in many ways to the modern violin. Before the Chinrest includes illustrated sections on right- and left-hand technique, aspects of interpretation during the Baroque, Classical, and early-Romantic eras, and a section on developing proper intonation.

Preface and Acknowledgements
How to Support the Pre-Chinrest Violin
I. Right Hand Technique
General Observations
1. Tone Production
Basic Right-Hand Technique
The Importance of Arm Weight
The Use of Arm Weight
2. Bow-Strokes
Lifted strokes
Slurred notes
Martelé and Spiccato
3. Chordal Technique
4. Bow Division
5. Swift-Bows
6. Combination Strokes
II. Left-Hand Technique
7. Position-Changing Exercises
Some Basic Concepts
The Position Of The Left Hand
The Swing
III. Interpretation
8. Expression
Affect and rhetoric
The role of analysis
The importance of the bass-line
The tyranny of the barline
The significance of metre
Shaping notes and gestures
Beware of the beam!
The trouble with notation
The reality of rubato
9. Dynamics and Nuance
Figures of musical speech
(i) Repetition
(ii) Sequences
(iii) Tessitura
(iv) The question
(v) The exclamation
(vi) Silence
10. Tempo
Metrical symbols
Harmonic motion
Technical complexity
Affective words
Cautionary and qualifying words
Baroque dance movements
11. Ornamentation
Notated ornaments
Un-notated ornaments
12. Baroque Clichés
The classic cadential formula
Slurred articulations
The hemiola
Melodic accents
The ultimate Baroque cliché
IV. Technique and Practice Guide
13. Tuning
A word about intonation
Difference tones
Difference tone exercise
Warm-up exercises
A shifting exercise
14. Exercises Starting on First Finger
Broken Thirds
Double-stopped Thirds

Stanley Ritchie is an internationally recognized violinist, teacher, and recording artist. He is a professor at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University Bloomington and the 2009 recipient of the Howard Mayer Brown Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Field of Early Music.

Useful and elegantly written, Stanley Ritchie's book will be a most valuable resource to accomplished modern violinists wishing to learn to play the baroque violin.

Marc Destrubé

[Ritchie's] book is accessible and authoritative, and moves what was once specialist information into the mainstream. Moreover, he may just inspire us to spice our music-making with the kind of informed variety and contextual fidelity that would do justice to one of history’s most diverse and fecund periods of invention.

Early Music

Violinists will . . . find in this book much that is useful and valuable, since it is drawn from Ritchie’s many years of experience playing and teaching the instrument.

Early Music America

Before the Chinrest includes many thoughtful suggestions on both technique and musical expression, and its numerous musical exercises . . . will no doubt greatly assist violinists seeking to perform the Baroque and Classical repertoire in a stylistically appropriate manner.

Performance Practice Review

Professor Stanley Ritchie shares his extensive experience distilled from 40 years of performing and teaching early violin, adding his thorough knowledge of historical sources on 17th and 18th century performance practice. He writes in an elegant, easy to follow style, using terms which a modern violinist can easily relate to. . . . . The book is practically based and best read with a violin in hand—in fact the last section, which amounts to one third of the book, consists of an extensive exercise system for left hand intonation and technique. Here is an exceptionally useful resource for all violinists.