Repertoire/etudes mapped to specific technical challenges/progress

August 30, 2017, 5:12 PM · Hi,

I've been looking at various graded repertoire lists and remember reading various informal assessments of ways in which certain pieces are better for learning certain skills (e.g. up-bow staccato and Intro/Rondo Capriccioso).

I also remember a high school violin teacher telling me that I couldn't work on a Mozart concerto until I mastered the requisite etudes that would prepare me for the cadenza...or something like that. Of course the actual etudes elude me to this day.

I'm wondering if anyone's done the work of formally mapping the skills to pieces and etudes. It strikes me as the kind of thing that a lot of pedagogues carry around in their heads.

Anyone? Where's Jubin when we need him? ;-)

Replies (8)

August 30, 2017, 7:23 PM · There's the Shipp's guide to excerpts and technique, which you can download from Nate's blog:

There are many compilations, e.g. by Spinosa and Rusch (don't know if they're readily available anymore.)

The variations in Sevcik Op. 3 are a summary of the bulk of bowing technique. Opp. 1 and 2 are an encyclopedia of all technique.

But we could start our own list here...

September 1, 2017, 1:05 AM · "I'm wondering if anyone's done the work of formally mapping the skills to pieces and etudes."

There is an ongoing project Violin etude thesaurus categorizing and analyzing the etudes.

September 1, 2017, 3:50 PM · Thanks, both of you! I figured someone had to have done this work somewhere.

September 1, 2017, 5:05 PM · Thanks Pavel. That's a really interesting project. It doesn't seem quite useful yet (not very specific) but perhaps in the future it will grow to be a great resource.
September 3, 2017, 8:40 PM · Hmmm ,

the best book imo , that has the most complicated stuff in it is .....

drum roll pulizzu

Sauret Gradus ad parnassum

its on imslp and oh boy that makes my fingers hurt

September 4, 2017, 8:12 AM · That "etude thesaurus" thing would be better off as just a spreadsheet. Etudes along the side, skills along the top, and in each cell a difficulty level for that skill perhaps on a 1-5 scale. Then each etude should have an overall difficulty indicator too. That would be a lot more user-friendly than what they have there.
September 5, 2017, 6:16 AM · Paul, many thanks for the feedback. Table view is an interesting idea aside the hierarchical view that is currently implemented but I am not sure whether it is easily technically feasible.
Trying to analyze the user requirements now:
* Etudes along the side
- there are over 200 etudes now, about 20% of the expected content. That would make a 1000 line table when finished. What sorting should be applied?
* skills along the top
- there are around 100 skill categories now which would create a very long heading.
- altogether that would make a huge table possibly difficult to navigate and awful to load.
* and in each cell a difficulty level for that skill perhaps on a 1-5 scale.
- not sure if I understand completely, how would you grade the skills? Is ricochet more difficult than shifting between 3rd and 5th position?
* Then each etude should have an overall difficulty indicator too.
- the teacher analyzing the etudes did not even consider grading them. What criteria should the grading of etudes be based on?
September 6, 2017, 7:01 AM · Pavel -- maybe you can ditch the Wiki environment and do it as a Google Sheet, that is more what I had in mind. Not sure how to manage access but presumably it can be handled in the same way as Wiki?

In each cell a difficulty level for that skill .. shifting between 3rd and 5th position is harder when they are 16th notes rather than half notes, harder still if also double stops, and yes, harder still if doing that whilst also doing some challenging bowing. But, I understand ... might be TMI.

Overall grading of etudes can come from RCM or other lists, everyone understands each book will have some that are harder than others.

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