Must read books for every violinist
Are there any books you believe every violinist should read?
Nikoleta, do you mean books on music that are specifically about the history and making of the violin, its playing technique, violinists' biographies or interviews? Or something more general?
What Every Violinist Needs to Know About the Body - Jennifer Johnson
"The Violin Lesson" by Simon Fischer.
If it's a history of the great ones, my favorite is Henry Roth's 1997 "Violin Virtuosos - From Paganini to the 21st Century." It's quite comprehensive and covers dozens and dozens of (depending on your evaluation) great and near-great players. Wonderfully well-written and informative read, and certainly provides the thorough history one would want to have as a violin player.
Last year my wife went through my "music book collection" (which is tilted toward string instruments) and listed the 242 titles and authors' names. My job-to-do was to look them all up on "bookfinder.com" for potential sale by a someday heir. I only got through about 5 of the 11 pages when I found (1) the used-book prices keep changing, (2) some of the out of print book prices are incredibly high and (3) I got tired and bored of the activity.
Andrew -- that's the beauty of auctions. I knew a guy with hundreds of chess books, including some very rare, autographed, etc. I have one rare book that I'll probably never be able to sell for anywhere close to the "going price" because the "going price" is usually BS.
Make sure you sell that one before the estate tax people are forced to file a report!
Principles of Violin Playing and Teaching, by Ivan Galamian
Yampolsky-Principles of Violin Fingering
Think outside the box. None of these books have violins in them, and yet, each will make your playing richer.
The Violin Explained by James Beament
The Amadeus Book of the Violin: Construction, History and Music by Walter Kolneder
The Athletic Musician by Barbara Paull and Christine Harrison.
Basics by Simon Fischer changed my life, as it organizes the set of things-to-know that, before, only circulated by word of mouth from conservatory teacher to student. Like Fischer states, violin playing is not rocket science, there's just a set of basic things you should know and if nobody ever told them to you, you are missing out. After that, it is "just" practicing (see below on that). If you are someone who is good at self-study through books, and you have had some decent violin education as a child, and have some minimal talent, then just through this book you can truly advance yourself significantly.
For actual technical usefulness, I will add another vote for Szigeti's books, and, if you can find a copy, Flesch's big book on Violin Fingering, with a thousand specific examples.
I like Flesch quite a bit, and I found the Yankelevich book very interesting.
Thank you all very much for your advice! I had Galamian' s in mind but it seems there are quite a lot of books on violin playing. Thank you for your answers!
I like Galamian, can't stand Fischer.
Dont know if anyone else has put this book in but, gone by min kym, its a great story, its true and its also a very cautionary tale for anyone with an expensive instrument.
Buri recommended Charles Dickens and Tolstoy - Well, there's also Conan Doyle.
Dostoyevsky, he should be on the list as well. Along with Willa Cather :-)
Maybe my teacher feared for my sanity if I read all of Fischer's books.
The book I mentioned by Galamian isn't a scale or study book, it contains remarks about technique and has valuable sections on other subjects such as musicality. I'm just a beginner but it's been valuable to me.
I feel ya Gordon.
I agree with the perspective approach - I often buy a DVD then ditch it because it's cheaper than going to the cinema.
It may be an issue of learning styles. To me, reading Fischer is like reading a treatise on, say, running technique, where there are 20 exercises each for lifting the leg, then bending the knee, then bending the elbow, then swinging the arm, then lowering the leg, then touching the foot to the ground, and so on. One might totally forget how to run after reading such a thing.
I have most of these, and all are amazing.
What's left of Six Lessons is on Youtube, but most of it is lost. Time and the BBC have not been kind to it.
I have amassed an incredible library of violin pedagogy books in my close to 50 years of playing and teaching the violin. Some of these books may have a few pearls of wisdom that anyone can benefit from. Others are simply worthless. You are much better off saving your money and going to YouTube instead. Listen and watch very, very carefully the great virtuosos. I've learned more from Nathan Milstein, Aaron Rosand, Pinchas Zukerman, Shmuel Ashkenasi, Antal Zalai, Augustin Hadelich, Kirill Troussov, and Maxim Vengerov than all the books I've ever read.
"You are much better off saving your money and going to YouTube instead."
these are famous and very important italian books: Remy Principe: il violino-- Paolo Borciani: Il violino--- Enzo Porta :scuole violinistiche(violinistic schools)
I think I get more from listening than from watching, although I am sometimes surprised by the films of an artist I admire. Their gestures are not always the same as what I have to do to get the same result.
In support of Fischer, it depends how you define "read".
While the language and treatment of cultures in the text are quite dated now, the interviews of artists by Samuel Applebaum in his series "The Way They Play" is fascinating reading. They are out of print, but can still be found in used bookstores (online) for $20-$30 apiece.
What every Violinist needs to know about the Body, Jennifer Johnson.
My first thought was Economics for Dummies... but I suspect you have something else in mind ;-)
Roger, although you joke, I had been meaning to look for a book on macroeconomics, and I notice that there's a Macroeconomics for Dummies, but no cheap copies yet, so I've bookmarked it.
GENE - congratulations. I got started collecting that series as they were being published but quit with the 4th book that ends with Jack Benny. (Just too many virtuosos to keep track of - and then that!) I sort of continued with the same publisher's HEIFETZ and PAGANINI biographies by Axelrod in 1976 and '79 but that was it.
Gene, as a bibliophile I envy you. I'd never heard of that series. I started looking around online... (Ann sighs, revising her book budget).
Greetings he first five books are a goldmine of data.
Don't read Klaus Kinski's Paganini.
I have the first four Ways They Play. I wish I had got vol.5, for Kyung Wa Chung, but the other Theys were people I'd never heard of.
Even though it's a Piano book, I think it's valuable for musicians of all instruments. The "Fundamentals of Piano Practice" by Chuan C. Chang. It's free online: https://fundamentals-of-piano-practice.readthedocs.io/chapter1/index.html
That looks interesting
Books I've read and would recommend are: -
I have about 150 books in my library dealing with the violin - some mostly about the instrument itself and some about playing. That does not include innumerable issues of the Strad, Strings, etc . So where to start?
Ricci in Glissando
Violinist has to practice 40 hours a day, doesn't have time to read books.
It is enough to practice just 20 hours a day. Then you have 20 more hours to read! :-D
If you dig this, I'll tell you where it's from.
It reads like Menuhin. Wordy but pertinent.
Yes, it's Menuhin - description that can never work as prescription.
Also from Menuhin, is the centipede story. Someone asked a centipede what order he used for putting down his 100 legs. He said, I don't know, I never thought about it. And from that moment, the centipede could not walk at all.
It's a bit older than Menuhin: -