Principles of Violin Playing (II)

Pattern number 2/1:

Points on the left hand:

2/1/1- Hand’s twist

While standing, human being’s palms are in a parallel position to his body.

Since for playing violin, it’s necessary that the player’s palms and fingers be inclined toward the fingerboard, therefore, the player, while bringing up his hand, should turn it toward the fingerboard.

2/1/2- the place of hand on the fingerboard

Normally, the player’s hand on the instrument neck is in accordance with the first position of the left hand. In such a condition it is necessary that the thumb be placed just across the first finger’s place on the fingerboard, and it’s better to keep the thumb in the same position, neither before nor after the first finger’s position (on the other side of the neck).

NB 1:The touch point of the first finger with the fingerboard in the above case is supposed to be Whole-tone far from the nut. This does not, however, mean the placing of the first finger while it is drawn back with a Half-step distance from the nut.

To place his hand on the first position, while bending his hand from elbow, the player should hold his left arm a little farther from the body, in this position, the elbow also stands farther (so the arm moves up). Firstly, this makes the palm stay at a distance from the player’s body, move forward and acquire the first position.  Secondly, the instrument and its neck remain in a horizontal direction compared with the ground. (See 1/1/2)

NB 2:The important point to be taken into account is that there is no need for the player to move the left shoulder forward in order to move the left arm and “set it into motion”. Some, mistakenly, when holding the instrument, in order to incline the violin toward the chest, twist their left shoulder to right and in fact bend the shoulder toward the chest. Applying any of these positions is wrong making the left shoulder move out of the line of the neck and the shoulder.

Indeed, for better understanding of this point, “articular role” of the shoulder should be considered. The shoulder joint, makes the twisting of the arm possible without the need to move the whole shoulder area and a part of the left side of the chest.

2/1/3- wrist

Naturally, when dropped, the wrist is in line with the forearm. While bringing up the hand and holding the instrument, it should not be twisted outwards or inwards or moved out of the direction of the forearm (in the first condition, the hand is idiomatically in the form of begging and in the second condition the wrist is protruded) or be bended sideways or twisted to the left or the right either.

NB 3: While playing it is only in the lower position of the left hand that the wrist and the forearm can remain in line with each other. It is necessary that the player does his best to maintain this position.

NB 4:In the general conditions of playing, keeping the wrist and forearm in line is desired. But, sometimes, in order to have a better performance, especially in playing some four string chords or trills, the wrist can be moved out of this position and bend inwards or outwards.

NB 5:If the player’s wrist is twisted inward, despite from being in trouble when changing the position, his fingers may collide with each other and be stuck. On the other hand, the player cannot place his fingers on the fingerboard with dominance.

NB 6:If the wrist is twisted outward, it is necessary that the player move it out of the usual form and shape in order to get to the desired note. Moreover, noting to the player’s fingers moving further than the instrument’s (supposed) fret (because of the pulled back form of fingers as a result of the moved back wrist), there is the possibility that the fingers don’t reach to the desired note which causes playing out of tune. Also the permanent twist of the wrist outwards, is painful in the long run.

The correct placement of the left hand on the fingerboard 

 Wrong Inward Twist of the Wrist 


Wrong Rightward Twist of the Wrist  


Wrong Outward Twist of the Wrist 


Correct Position

Post a Comment

Required fields are marked *
*
*
Your email is never shared.

A Note on the Occasion of Houshang Zarif’s Demise

No introduction is needed when talking about the position of the late Houshang Zarif (1938-2020) in the Iranian music. His character and personality are so well-known among musicians that his name per se is a symbol and role model for the Iranian youth. “Becoming Houshang Zarif” is the dream of many young people who enter the world of music in Iran and many of whom retire regretting the realisation of this dream.

Hassan Kassai, Ney Virtuoso

The name of Maestro Hassan Kassai is so vehemently intertwined with Ney (Persian reed flute) that one cannot imagine one without the other immediately coming into mind. Ney is one of the instruments which went through a lot of ups and downs in the history of the Iranian music since the time of Sassanid kings to the time when shepherds found playing it consoling when they took their cattle for grazing. However, Nay could never demonstrate its main capacities to gain a stable position among the musicians and the people like other instruments including Oud, Tar, Santour, all sorts of bowed string instruments and plucked string instruments.

From Past Days…

Ali Rahbari & Recording Iranian Symphonic Compositions

In the few days prior to the New Iranian year (March 2015), the news of the revival of Tehran Symphony Orchestra under Ali (Alexander) Rahbari’s conductorship was announced. Ali Rahbari, who served as assistant to Herbert von Karajan in Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra at a very young age, was also invited to conduct Tehran Symphony Orchestra in 2005; however, the election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s government put an end to his collaboration with this Orchestra. Recently, it was announced that Rahbari is invited to conduct an orchestra in the U.S.

Hossein Dehlavi: the Composer

With Dehlavi it is not all about fame but recognition. Hossein Dehlavi is not a popular musician (like pop singers) whom everybody might know when he is walking on streets of Tehran; however, he is recognized by both amateur and distinguished musicians of the country.

The Mystery of Messiah

Antonio Stradivari (1644 – 18 December 1737) was an Italian luthier and is considered the most significant and greatest artisan in this field.

Principles of Violin Playing (I)

The present series of training articles, “Principles of Violin Playing”, seek to help students, to appropriately understand this field, by gradually introducing, categorizing, and teaching the myriad relevant points. One of the principles of playing violin, which must be always kept in mind, is that the selection of the most natural position for the body parts while playing is the best and most appropriate solution. As a matter of fact, any unnatural body part position which requires lots of energy or unusual stretching to maintain, is wrong.

Women Musicians in Large Iranian Orchestras

It is more than a century now that the sociologists consider the presence of women in different social domains as a benchmark for a society’s progress. They analyze the presence of women in society by the means of available statistics. Unfortunately, as with regard to the Iranian society, statistics related to women’s engagement, has not been available to the researchers, if they existed at all.

Simorgh Criticised

Simorgh (Simorq) Orchestra was founded by the renowned Iranian composer, Hamid Motebassem, in 2011. Simorgh Orchestra is the largest orchestra featuring Iranian national instruments. Although the orchestra established by Master Hossein Dehlavi, the great Iranian composer, in 1993 was larger than Simorgh Orchestra, it only featured the Iranian plucked string instruments unlike the latter one. The first album which was recorded by the Orchestra, conducted under Motebassem’s baton, was his Simorq based on Zal story from Shahnameh by Ferdowsi, the great Iranian poet.

HarmonyTalk Celebrates 11th Anniversary

April 6 marks the anniversary of launching HarmonyTalk.com. Back in 2004, HarmonyTalk was rather a blog dedicated to music. Gradually, however, it found its way to becoming a more sophisticated journal with an intensive but not exclusive concentration on classical music.

Illusion or Ingenuity?

Mohsen Renani in the preface of his book entitled “The Political Economy of nuclear conflict; an introduction to traversing the civilizations” writes:

Iannis Xenakis’ Persephassa

Shiraz Arts Festival which was held in Shiraz from 1967 to 1977 featured many contemporary renowned artists who were commissioned by the Iranian royalty to compose or create works of art for performance in the arts festival. Iannis Xenakis (1922-2001) participated in Shiraz Arts Festival three times in 1968, 1969 and 1971. The Greek-French composer,…
Read More »

Hossein Aslani passed away!

Hossein Aslani, Iranian pianist residing in the US, passed away due to cancer in late January 2020. His last musical activity was an article written for Harmony Talk entitled “Iran amidst musical struggle” in 2016, his memoir entitled “I Play You Again” in the same year and his album “Symbolic Emotion” published by Arganoun Publications in 2014. Here is a brief biography of Hossein Aslani according to his own website: