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The Amadeus Book of the Violin: Construction, History, and Music
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First published in 1972, Walter Kolneder's Das Buch der Violine quickly established itself as the standard work on the violin, dealing with every aspect of the instrument in truly encyclopedic fashion. This first English-language translation, by eminent scholar and educator Reinhard G. Pauly, is based on the fifth German edition, published in 1993. Ours is more than a translation, however. Dr. Pauly also took the opportunity to revise the text, for American and English readers particularly, and has included information on recent developments not available to the author. The book begins with an examination of the violin's construction and history. Part One offers fascinating detail on woods, glues, varnishes, shapes and dimensions, and bows and strings; Part Two traces the evolution of the instrument's form, from the violin's pre-history through the five centuries, roughly, that have elapsed since it took its present shape. Part Three is a chronological survey of the violin's musical aspects, treating performance techniques, pedagogical philosophy, and literature for the violin. Kolneder examines the various national schools for their distinguishing characteristics and shows the influence of composers (Bach and Beethoven, among others), virtuosos (Paganini, Kreisler), and teachers (including Tartini and Geminiani) upon the development of the modern violin and its music. Together the three parts form the best single volume on the violin and its music, an extraordinary encyclopedic resource for the general music-lover as well as for violinists.
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