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Alexanian Diran - Theoretical and practical treatise of the Violoncello

Alexanian Diran - Theoretical and practical treatise of the Violoncello

Alexanian Diran - Theoretical and practical treatise of the Violoncello. You can download the PDF sheet music Alexanian Diran - Theoretical and practical treatise of the Violoncello on this page. Here is the preface by Pablo Casals:
What does Diran Alexanian an offer us in his theoretical and practical treatise? Firstly a "Dictionary" of our technique. Everything worthy of note will be found in it, accompanied by the most circumstantial analytical details, with the result that everyone, be he teacher or pupil, will find instructive elements, (and will find them to a great extent only here). It would be a mistake to neglect the perusal of that of which one believes to halve complete knowledge, for one rarely works one's way through difficulties otherwise than by a "straight line", with the result that many things are passed by. Here, however, the whole field is covered. In other words, the method employed could be compared to the ever-widening circles created by the dropping of a stone in a pond. The stone is the "basis" or starting point of instruction. If we examine an object of small dimensions we are able to look at it from all sides. Could we do the same with a more voluminous one? Evidently not, as our minds would follow "diverging lines" so that certain things, except by a miracle, would certainly be missed. Therefore the best method to follow in the study of technique is to trace a spiral, starting from a sound basis and ending at the extreme limit of physical possibilities.
When Alexanian submitted to me a well elaborated plan for the analysis of the theory of violoncello playing, based on principals that I myself accept, I recognized that I had before me d serious effort towards the casting off of the shackles of the superannuated prejudices with which the above mentioned works were replete.
I therefore decided to go through the work page by page. As a result of this examination I can declare that nowhere in it is there to be found a precept of which the application, sustained by artistic taste, would not contribute entirely and exclusively to the formation of a technique in conformity with my conceptions, that is to say, giving to each of its factors an elasticity of a high standard, capable of adapting itself to the subtle diversity of expression of the same instrumental formula, according to its various "musical situations".
I would therefore recommend to all those who play or who wish to play the violoncello to imbue themselves thoroughly with the contents of this treatise. It would indeed seem strange that a student of talent should not obtain the best results from the deep study of this work. I also venture to predict that this book will be of the greatest documentary value, being as it is the only work of its kind concerning our instrument, and that even experienced virtuosos will find in it food for instructive meditation.

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Book: 214 pages. 17291 K



Alexanian Diran - Theoretical and practical treatise of the Violoncello - Instrument part - first page
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I confess that I do not know all the "Methods" published, up to now concerning our instrument. However, a great number of them have passed through my hands, strengthening each time my conviction that only routine and empiricism contributed to the production of such works. I cannot say how many times I have felt inclined to anathematize this "fear of novelty" this timid and deplorable "stagnation that would astonish a Duport were he to come to life again. One could imagine him exclaiming. "What! the violoncello is still at the same point! I had therefore reached the limit of technical possibilities!" One hearing of a serious artist would suffice to prove the contrary to him. The logical question would then present itself. Why does written instruction find itself in opposition to practical instruction? It is to be noted that all tendencies have their origin in the atmosphere of a certain period. As regards the "classical" Methods that I have seen I would say that they do not represent any period, in that their authors, without any further research, have contented themselves with noting down the out-of date "laws" purposely ignoring the innumerable technical formulas of our times, under the pretext of their being "exceptions" or the result of "individual license" If I attack this absence of pedagogic progress it is because of the personal conviction that certain "rules" considered at one time as indispensible for perfect execution, are not only useless, but might in our day be considered nefarious. Instrumental music has gone through an evolution that the violoncello "Methods" alone have refused to follow.


Book Contents:

  • Preface
  • The Violoncello
  • The way of holding the Violoncello
  • The way of holding the Bow
  • Preparation for the use of the Bow
  • Definition of certain terms, signs and technical abreviations
  • First long drawn tones
  • Change of string on change of bow
  • Preparation concerning the use of the left hand
  • Exercises to render the fingers supple
  • First disposition of the left hand
  • Jumping with the bow over one or two strings to another
  • The"Legato"
  • Change of strings on the same stroke of the bow
  • Exercises of percussion
  • Exercises for developing the strength of the fingers of the left hand
  • Exercises to develops the independence of the fingers
  • Second disposition of the left hand
  • Preparatory exercises for the mixed use of the first two dispositions
  • The changing of place of the left hand at the neck of the Violoncello
  • Exercises for "mixed" changing of place
  • Exercises for all kinds of change of place
  • Arpeggios with the augmented fifth
  • Diminished sevenths
  • Modifications of the disposition of the left hand
  • Third disposition of the left hand
  • Major scales
  • Minor melodic and harmonic scales
  • Chromatic scale
  • Whole-tone scales
  • Rapid alternations between two given strings, and then between 3 and 4 strings
  • Chords
  • Intensities, Qualities of tone, Accents
  • The Vibrato
  • Study of the Trill
  • The Pizzicato
  • The harmonics of the neck
  • "Artificial" harmonics
  • Mixed use of the natural and artificial harmonics
  • Anomalies (Harmonics}
  • The Study of double notes
  • Mixed exercises for the combined use of double strings of several kinds
  • Natural and artificial double harmonics
  • Exercises in double strings with one part trilled
  • Articulated trills
  • Vibrated trills
  • Articulated double-trills
  • Vibrated double-trills
  • Preparation for the use of the nut-thumb
  • Arpeggios with partial changes of place on a single degree
  • Study of combined changes of place
  • Exercise to acquire ease in the creeping movement of the thumb
  • Preparation for complete changes of place
  • Mixed use of the dispositions
  • Irregular exietrsions
  • The harmonica of the "thumb-position"
  • Single-string exercise
  • Artificial harmonics of the thumb position
  • Anomalies (Harmonics of the thumb position)
  • Scales and double-notes of the thumb position
  • Octaves
  • Thirds
  • Sixths
  • Tenths
  • Double-notes of the neck alternating with those of the thumb-position
  • The "spiccato" and the "salielhtio" or "sautille"
  • The "Gefiato" or "Flying Staccato" The "Staccato"
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