Ivan Alexander Galamian was an Iranian-born Armenian violin teacher of the twentieth century. He wrote two violin method books, Principles of Violin Playing and Teaching () and Contemporary Violin Technique (). Galamian. The scales are written out in Galamian’s books, Contemporary Violin Technique, Volumes 1 and 2. I will tell you mostly about the three-octave. Galamian/Neumann Contemporary Violin Technique Book 1.
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He died in Preface of Ivan Galamian Galamian says: There are many kinds of playing the violin, some kinds are acceptable, some others are bad. Galamian’s method is the most practicable, but not the only right or possible one.
Introduction of Galamian The today’s methods of playing violin have got three essential bad points: Insisting in rigid rules is irresponsible This is a dangerous manner because rules should vio,in for pupils, and the pupils should not be adored by the pupils.
Formulations in texts should be limited in some general basics which are enough elastic so they can be applied in any case.
The term “right” should mean what is natural for the pupil. Only the natural manner is comfortable and useful. The pupil should feel well with it, and according to metjod body of the pupil this can mean different manners. Comprehension for mutual dependence The singular elements of violin technique are in a mutual organic relation.
When the position of bowing is changed, so hand and arm should be allowed to adapt and have to violln a new balance among themselves. Considering this the solution will always be a compromise serving to the pupil person. And by this any individuality is saved. Developing mental control over violin technique and over physical movements Mental control violiin more important than the mechanic manner how is it executed.
There has to be a connection between the mind and the muscles, that means there has to be the capacity to perform the mental orders into physical reactions in a fast and precise way as fast as possible. This is the basic principle of violin technique [and with all other music instruments and activities in life]. Technique has to become a unity with the interpretation.
Absolute facts with technique There is the galamlan to manage the instrument technically in an absolute sovereign way. Galamian claims — the complete knowledge of the performed music in it’s harmonic and formal structure — a clear and rhythmic kind of playing — and the sovereignty of violun variations of bowings and colors of sound.
Ivan Galamian – Wikipedia
viilin Relative facts with an interpretation An interpretation is very sentimental and depends on the personal idea of methov playing person, is methof by the taste, style and fashion of the time. Therefore the interpretation is a value which is always changing, e. Bach how different the performances are depending from the epoch.
The main aim is a complete technique of expressionthis means the complete mastership over all possibilities with the instrument, in combination with an gala,ian safety and management of any requirement of any fine idea. Only then it’s possible to realize the idea of the sound of a work. Group players – solo players A group player has to be that skilled as a solo player, has to follow to the conductor and has to be capable to interpret the ideas as a soloist.
Virtuosity Virtuosic technique is not always under control because the movements can be too fast, too light or can be without any rhythmic discipline, sometimes this is even violih. Technique and mind in their mutual relationship: The key for a technical mastership is in the betterment of this mutual relation, and not in the training and forming of the muscles.
The mutual work is required. What is essential is the reaction of the muscles to th mental orders, not the force of the muscles. Therefore there is the question how one can better this mutual relation between instrumental technique and mind.
This unity of mind and muscle needs new homework, rhythm homework and coordination voilin The music playing person should train music peaces talamian different rhythms, bowings and gaoamian bettering the coordination between mind and motivity, see the chapter “About training”.
Technique is only the resource for the interpretation, technique is only in the service of the artistic interpretation. The music playing person — has methov understand the sense of music completely — has to present a creative fantasy — has to have a personal, intuitive and sentimental access to the music peace. The personality must not be colorless nor aggressive or intrusive.
Characters of a “good musician” — complete technical control of the instrument — interpretation — convincibility. Characters of a “good musician” at the concert — good sound — clear spelling and interpretation — habit to tell something — telling this with conviction — everybody can understand it.
Comparison of a music peace with a speech A good speaker is attracting the public when the speech looks like improvised, with changing sound, with breaks, with gestures which seem to be spontaneous and original.
Therefore the best music interpretation has to make the impression of being improvised.
There has to be an immediate “creation of the creation”. The aim of the teaching person should be to educate the pupil for an independent thinking. The method of parrot only copying the interpretation of the teacher does not bring a good result. This counts for any kind of art. The pupil gets mentally lazy and dependent, the music pupil gets musically lazy and dependent.
In these cases the disc resp. CD blocks the development of the own musical personality. Types of pupils — there are pupils “active” in interpretation with a native will realizing their creative fantasies challenging the teaching person — there are pupils “passive” in interpretation who are not capable to come out from themselves: One cannot light a fire where is no burning material.
They never will get their own musical feet, but they will be “skilled craftsmen”. Questions about acoustics during the concerts: Acoustics in a big hall The condition to be understood in a big hall is the production of a big sound. In general the performance in a concert has to be louder, and a little bit slower and more distinct. The aim has to be that also the last listener in the last row will understand the performance.
In a big hall the differentiation between loud and soft has to be much more extreme than in a little hall, and the soft sounds should not be too soft. According to this one has to install the bowings and part more bowings playing in a big hall having always a big volume of the needed sound filling the big hall. Any accompaniment should never exceed the volume of the soloist.
In big halls fast works have to be performed always less fast because of the echo effect because any very fast tempo would harm to the clearness of the work. Production of big sounds: As a vocal singing sound can be considered with a soft beginning and a soft end. As a consonant an articulated sound can be considered depending on the kind of bowing in combination with knocking in the fingers of the left hand during fast parts of the work for more separation of the tones.
The aim is – according to the hall – getting a balance between vocal and consonant sounds. In a big hall more articulation is needed than only in a veranda. But one never should exaggerate any articulation because too much consonant sound is harming the vocal sound. The left hand 3. General posture with the instrument General movement with the instrument There are two basic problems, fixing of the tones and vibrato.
One never should suppress any body movement, but one should play an instrument always without being afraid. The posture with the instrument Basically any posture is possible as long as it’s corresponding with the body of the pupil person.
The support at the violin should not touch the violin’s base because otherwise the sound of the violin can be affected and is not brilliant any more.
Galamian/Neumann – Contemporary Violin Technique, Book 1 – Galaxy Edition
The chin never should press on the string holder. Until about the violins and violas had no chin holder yet]. Chin holder according to Galamian is the best a model which is fixed on both sides of the string holder so the pressure of the screws is in a balance to the violin’s construction. Posture of the left arm The level of the string going with the elbow The elbow never is without movement. The elbow should also be in a movement changing the methos according to the string which is played.
When the G string is played then the elbow should also pass to the right, when the E string is played so the elbow also should pass to the left. Playing violin this is only the case with the two most extreme strings]. Finger activities of the metho hand and of the left wrist Knocking fingers – soft fingers Knocking fingers on the finger board during runs viopin resulting in a “craspy” sound [but don’t knock too much pleas!
Knocking with the fingers can be supported by the elbow getting mwthod elbow in a more right position, so the fingers get an almost right angle to the finger board.
Therefore the fingers can knock harder, with the bony part of the finger tip. When there are soft and easy runs the elbow can be hold a little bit to the left, so the galamiaj come on the finger board with a flat position, with the fleshy part of the finger tip. Basically the fingers should be hold always near the finger board evading exaggerated articulations.
Playing the violin the line violni the back of the hand and the lower arm should be near straight. An own movement of the left hand is allowed only playing in the half position and in high positions and playing chords requiring an extension of the hand. Playing the violin the line between the back of the hand and the lower arm should be more or less straight. Exceptions mwthod playing in the half position, in high positions and playing chords requiring an extension of the hand.
The left hand at the neck of the violin The left hand should touch the neck softly at the left and at the right side.
Ivan Galamian: Basics and methods of violin playing
This facilitates the orientation of the hand during playing. During playing in the first position the first finger put on the finger board should form more or less a square, but never a perfect square. The first part of the forefinger should touch the upper ridge of the finger board. Until the third position the forefinger on the finger board is an orientation, in the higher positions there will be the free position. When the finger tips fall on the strings The fingers should “hang” individually over the strings.
Short fingers “are hanging” higher over the strings than longer fingers. During playing in the first position the left hand should not be hold in the position of the half position.
The first and the half position have to be well separated. The hand can be in the half position playing short passages of the first position when the fingers are long enough and the distance is no problem[. The position in the first position: Even better is the first position when the hand is gallamian little bit higher so also for h’ the finger has to mefhod put back a little bit. Then the octave h’-h” is balanced between the fingers and depends not only from the little finger with h”.