Books About Violin/Music?
I am currently looking for books about violin/music in general. Anything from violin making to violinists to chamber music or classical music in general. Just looking to expand my knowledge. All suggestions are welcome.
Arnold Steinhardt's book, "Violin Dreams."
The Cambridge Companion to the Violin is good.
You might try Edward Dusinberre's 'Music for a Later Age'. He writes about how he joined the Takacs Quartet, how he learned to work with the other players, and about working on and playing repertoire, particularly but not exclusively Beethoven quartets. I'm far from a professional player but i found it readable, engaging, sometimes amusing, and informative about all aspects of playing in a quartet.
Christian, I see you are a student with an academic interest in the subject. So I assume your interest in books about violin, other string instruments and music in general are similar to mine, although your path is more angled toward the music profession than mine was. There are hundreds of books on these subjects and I don't know where to start (I am not going to make you a list). However, I've always found biographies of great players to be very informative. Books about makers and musicians looking for another violin can be interesting too.
I highly recommend “The Great Violinists” by Margaret Campbell, generously lent to me by my teacher. I’m about half way through it. It is full of interesting anecdotes and details of lives and personalities of violinists that were merely names to me before reading it. The graphical family tree of violin teacher-pupil relationships from Corelli to the present, early in the book, is particularly interesting, and possibly unique in literature on the subject.
It's out of print, but it's a fantastic read if you can get a used copy:
George, you got me curious: "A very interesting, albeit non-traditional format, book titled: "The Violin: A Social History"
Stradivarius by Toby Faber is excellent.
"Violin Dreams", as mentioned by Paul Deck, is a great read. "The Violin Hunter" is an interesting book as well. Also, "Stradivari's Genius". One of my favorites is also "The Art of Quartet Playing" by David Blum.
"Violin Virtuosos from Paganini to the 21st Century," by Henry Roth, by gosh.
Wow thanks for all the recommendations. Are there any places I could possibly get these used? Sometimes amazon can be quite expensive for some books.
When buying older books, I always start with "Better World Books". Free postage, and often they have gems for a mere song.
Christian - I found the used copy of "The Violin: A Social History on Amazon. Good to know about Better World Books, didn't know about them!
Like Andrew I've hesitated to weigh in here, not knowing where to start. I have almost every book already recommended here and dozens more - and agree with their recommendations. But I'll mention the following which I don't think have been mentioned:
Two of my favorites:
On the fiction side, I highly recommend "An Equal Music" by Vikram Seth, a fabulous novel about a string quartet and the "Song of Names" by Norman Lebrecht. You will learn a good deal about music and string playing from these two novels.
"Under the Maestro's Hand: A Violinist's Dream"
I didn't notice anyone mentioning "The Violin Maker" by John Marchese. Re David Blum: I love his books. I also have "Casals and the Art of Interpretation" and have read "Quintet: five journeys toward musical fulfillment" which includes Joseph Gingold and Yo-Yo Ma.
Try this free ebook about violin:
"The Way They Play", especially the first few volumes. Interviews with great violinists. Marvelous reading.
I hope it is not too late to offer a few ideas to this conversation!
I thought of two others:
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