TRADITIONS of Baroque Violin Playing

by Richard Gwilt
with Irmgard Schaller



This site is for those interested in knowing more about baroque violin playing. From how to hold the instrument, to detailed information about styles of ornamentation, to discussion about national styles, or the place of rhetoric in baroque performance practice, for example. The aim is to give useful and accurate information, based on the sources that have come down to us from the baroque period, and to point readers in the right direction for further research.

My (Richard's) original idea, was (perhaps still is) to write a book on the subject, but the sheer amount of work involved has put me off for years. Recently Irmgard has become ever more involved, and while text remains pretty much entirely Richard's responsibility, Irmgard (thank you hugely) has proof-read everything, and made numerous suggestion for improvements. The research is a joint venture, and with both of us working in the same field, the exchange of ideas is lively, inspiring and fruitful.

The field is vast, and there is a daunting amount of material to cover. In an attempt to manage this, I have chosen to write a series of Essays - each one taking one specific facet of baroque violin playing and presenting the issues, evidence and "answers" as clearly as possible.

There is no shortage of information accessible these days - but sometimes trying to make sense of it all, to put it all in context, is challenging. Our aim here is to work as much as possible from the primary sources, and to present the information as clearly and succinctly as possible. What we put here has come from years of performing, years of teaching, of listening to students' questions, and of trying to find adequate answers to questions that keep presenting themselves. Should I trill from above or below? Why? Up bow or down bow? What does Allegro mean?

The project is ongoing. In these early days we will slowly be uploading articles as we get them finished to our satisfaction. Various resources (such as music, links to facsimiles, a few of my own editions, and interesting links in general) will appear as time goes on.

© Copyright 2011-2020 by Richard Gwilt and Irmgard Schaller. All Rights Reserved.