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Before the Chinrest: A Violinist's Guide to the Mysteries of Pre-Chinrest Technique and Style (Publications of the Early Music Institute) Paperback – July 16, 2012
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"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
"[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
"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." ―Stringendo
'Before the Chinrest' is aimed at modern violinists and viola players who are ‘curious to learn about technique and style as understood and practised by their seventeenth and eighteenth-century predecessors’, so it is designed as a practical guide and includes a wealth of information, musical examples and technical exercises…
Ritchie divides the book into four sections: right-hand technique, left-hand technique, interpretation, and a technique and intonation practice guide. I found myself in agreement with a great number of his points about matters technical and interpretative, and many of his technical exercises would be extremely helpful to those new to period playing.…
Classical Music, Dec 2012
"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, violinist
About the Author
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.
Top customer reviews
There are some challenges - the book uses terms that assume you have some background (e.g. pronation) - and there is always the thought that 'if I do this, will it make it harder to switch back to a late Romantic style when I need to?' 'Will I become better or just confused?' Likewise, perpetual problem with any how-to book, is that it is nice to have a teacher around to say 'yes' or 'relax your upper arm more.' For all of these issues, it is important to remember that the book is a starting point for what can be a very valuable musical journey.