a few days ago I stubbled upon Tartini's letter to Maddalena Lombardini. It can be found on IMSLP. Tartini gave great instructions and for the most part I find his explanations comprehensible. However I have some doubt about the “half-shift” he mentions in the second part when he talks about the left hand.
As far as I can make out, he wants the student to play any familiar score while resting in half-position. Later the student is to play the same tune in first, second, third, fourth position and so on. Makes sense...What I don´t understand is why he gives instructions to keep the first finger on the note G on the first (ie lowest) string in half position, since that would be the g sharp, unless the finger rests on the nut. Also I don't understand why the student is apparently allowed to leave the half-position when he or she is supposed to play an A on the E-Sting. That would not be a problem in half-position.
Have I misunderstood that passage?
By the way, I was surprised that Tartini uses names for the notes that seem to be related to the medieval hexachordal system. An A for example is called „Alamire“...Tweet
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