IN 1751, THE RENOWNED ITALIAN violinist Francesco Geminiani took a break from bowing and set pen to paper. He aimed to distill his decades of experience into a treatise on how best to approach his preferred instrument. As he explained, he looked down on those violinists who spent their time “imitating the Cock, Cuckoo, Owl, and other Birds.” He also lacked patience for “Contortions of the Head and Body,” “sudden Shifts of the Hand,” and “all other such Tricks.” Instead, he wrote, a great violinist had one job: to achieve “a Tone that shall in a Manner rival the most perfect human Voice.” Full story.
Cara Giaimo (Atlas Obscura) / May 21, 2018
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