Violin Playing Trends: from Classical to Modern

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It may sound complicated to learn, develop, and master all playing styles and genre of violin playing. And it is not possible to discuss violin playing without mentioning the enormous influence of what the modern or pop culture has exercised over the repertoire of the violin music industry.

The key is to let the old trend or classy music overlap with the new pattern of the modern/popular music. A unique playing style is one that is not bound by a specific era of playing style or catchy pop tunes.

Violin Playing and Classical Music

Anyone who is learning to play the violin is conventionally considered as into “classical music” and are mistakenly branded as people who are seriously stuck in this genre forever. Well, no one can deny the fact that the violin has played a significant part in almost every orchestral music.

In fact, you will likely to hear the violin section playing much of the central elements or melody on a lot of classical orchestra music. Besides, throughout the entire music history, the violin has not only invaded classical music but folk, and country music as well.

Although much can be said about folk music’s influence in the classical genre, the violin also proved to be highly appealing to musicians playing folk music. Folk musicians even created their own term for the violin as a “fiddle,” when it is used to perform folk music.

However, as a string musician or a violin student, it is probably pretty familiar with their knowledge and experience that there are no limits to what an instrument can play.

Modern Meets Classical

In the last few years, the world has witnessed expanding genre of artistic expression.

With musicians searching for different and unique sounds, the trend in violin types changed dramatically along with the way the violin is played. Many violinists have slowly altered their style and genre to widen the area of violin music.

Classically trained and other experienced musicians have gotten away from the traditional genre and pursued the new style of music playing, which created their own alternative.

Violin playing in different kinds of genre aside from classical has now become a norm in the modern era with new electrifying rock music, jazz, pop, and another genre in the new world music industry.

As a proof that violin playing is not confined by the classical era, here is a list of violinists who made their way beyond the boundaries of traditional playing and are currently influencing the string instrument music arena:

Lindsey Stirling

She is an American violinist, composer, performance artist, and dancer who made a name for herself playing the violin in a variety of music styles.

Watching her will make you realize that a violin can be played from classic to rock or pop and electronic dance music.

Jean-Luc Ponty

French jazz violinist and composer Jean-Luc Ponty is equally fluent in playing an older version of jazz music, bebop, and crossover jazz. His bebop style features music that has a fast tempo, instrumental virtuosity, complex chord progressions with numerous key changes and rapid chord progressions, as well as a different combination of scales and harmonic structure.

His playing expanded the possibilities of jazz playing with the use of a violin and allowed musicians to explore playing at faster tempos. His mastery of music made him a pioneer of contemporary music touring alongside Elton John and selling millions of albums worldwide.

Indeed, his inventive violin playing style earns him honors until today.

Stoppard & Ben Lee

Electric violinists Linzi and Ben form the group ‘Fuse’. They both gained international fame by making music with their most luxurious Swarovski Bridge, and 24-carat gold plated violins encrusted with rubies, sapphires, and diamonds. Aside from influencing the modern world with violins encrusted with jewelry, they established a heavy-metal genre of music that can be played with violins.

Well, violin playing is cool, right? Rock on!

Daniel Jang

At this era, who don’t know John Legend and Sam Smith?

Yes, they are not directly related to this guy, but their songs made him a YouTube sensational violinist gaining thousands and millions of views. His YouTube page consists of violin covers of songs by pop singers and modern solo artists. His music influences many young violin students today as he proves his way that a classical instrument like a violin is an incredible sound-making machine for pop music!

Vitamin String Quartet (VSQ)

A ‘string quartet’ might sound a bit more like a ‘classical phrase’ but, this group says more than that.

Vitamin String Quartet, simply VSQ, is a group of musicians known for its pop song and rock band covers. Vitamin String Quartet is a non-traditional group that has received Billboard chartings has amassed sales of 1 million CDs and more than 3 million song downloads.

As every violinist can attest, this list could go on, as there are different genres of music one can play. Moreover, like the human voice, playing in different styles and techniques can help a violinist become a well-rounded one.

The true mission of the violin is to imitate the accents of the human voice, a noble mission that has earned for the violin the glory of being called the king of instruments.

Analysis of Contemporary Violin Recordings of 19th Century Repertoire: Identifying Trends and Impacts

The study of violin recordings as evidence of interpretation and performance approach has been quite extensive throughout recent decades. Findings such as the limited use of vibrato in early recordings, the relative stabilization of tempo and rhythm characteristic of mid-20th century violin playing, or the effect of ‘historically informed performance’ (HIP) on ‘mainstream’ (MS) violinists performing early music repertoire, are fundamental in the identification of prevailing norms of practice and changes of style that have occurred over time.

However, compared to the considerable amount of research conducted on 20th century playing, studies focusing on 21st century violin performances are still quite limited, and are mostly based on recordings of J. S. Bach’s sonatas and partitas for solo violin. This paper examines contemporary violin recordings made in recent decades (1999-2017). It aims to explore the most current trends in early 21st century violin performance practices and identify the impact of HIP principles on the new generation of players.

Unlike most previous research, it focuses on recordings made to 19th century repertoire, thus enlarging the spectrum to include performance analysis of a relatively untouched field and enabling examination of the degree and manner of incorporating 19th century performance attributes (e.g., utilization of rhythmic unevenness, portamento or harmonics) into contemporary praxis.

Results suggest an extensive blend of stylistic approaches among currently active violinists, putting into question the relevance of the traditional distinction made between HIP and MS performance styles when it comes to current performance vogue. Incorporating 19th century performance devices while playing 19th century music was traced in varying degrees. Findings are suggested as being part of a general, quasi-postmodern quest for pluralism and elimination of hierarchical classifications, representing an era of ‘over-choice’ environment.

  • Mean intensity of selected notes (dynamic contour) in dB SPL: Beethoven Violin Sonata No. 6 in A Major Op. 30 No. 1, second movement (Adagio molto espressivo), bars 1–6.
  • Mean intensity of selected notes (dynamic contour) in dB SPL: Brahms Sonata first movement (Vivace man non troppo), bars 219–224.
  • Bar to bar duration (in seconds): Beethoven Violin Sonata No. 6 in A Major Op. 30 No. 1, second movement (Adagio molto espressivo), bars 1–6.
  • Bar to bar duration (in seconds): Beethoven Violin Sonata No. 1 in G Major Op. 78, first movement (Vivace man non troppo), bars 1–8.
  • Eighth note durations (in seconds): Beethoven Violin Sonata No. 6 in A Major Op. 30 No. 1, second movement (Adagio molto espressivo), bars 1–6.
  • Quarter and eighth note duration of repeated rhythmic figures (in seconds): Beethoven Violin Sonata No. 1 in G Major Op. 78, first movement (Vivace man non troppo), bars 1–8.
  • Multiple-stops durations (in seconds): Beethoven Violin Sonata No. 6 in A Major Op. 30 No. 1, third movement (Allegretto con variazioni – variation IV), bars 81–85.
  • Chord manner of execution: Beethoven Violin Sonata No. 6 in A Major Op. 30 No. 1, third movement (Allegretto con variazioni – variation IV), bars 81, beat 3 (AM).
  • Deviation from absolute pitch: Beethoven Violin Sonata No. 6 in A Major Op. 30 No. 1, second movement (Adagio molto espressivo), A5 bar 1, F#5 bar 3, G5 bar 5, B5 bar 6.
  • Deviation from absolute pitch: Brahms Violin Sonata No. 1 in G Major Op. 78, first movement (Vivace man non troppo), E6 bar 219, G6 bar 220, A5 bar 221, Eb6 bar 222.
  • Vibrato extent (in cents): Beethoven Violin Sonata No. 6 in A Major Op. 30 No. 1, second movement (Adagio molto espressivo), A5 bar 1, F#5 bar 3, G5 bar 5, B5 bar 6.
  • Vibrato speed (in CPS): Brahms Violin Sonata No. 1 in G Major Op. 78, first movement (Vivace man non troppo), E6 bar 219, G6 bar 220, A5 bar 221, Eb6 bar 222.
  • Spectral components: Beethoven Violin Sonata No. 6 in A Major Op. 30 No. 1, second movement (Adagio molto espressivo), A5 bar 1.
  • Spectral components: Brahms Violin Sonata No. 1 in G Major Op. 78, first movement (Vivace man non troppo), A5 bar 222.

Violin playing has been a popular instrument for centuries. The violin is the most popular string instrument in the world, and it is played by professionals as well as beginners. Violin playing is a great hobby that can be enjoyed by people of all ages.

The violin’s popularity stems from its versatility and its ability to produce a wide range of sounds, which means that it can be used in many different styles of music. It is also used in many types of film scores because it can provide an emotional sound without distracting from dialogue or other instruments.

Some violin players that are popular today are Joshua Bell, Hilary Hahn, and Itzhak Perlman.

Joshua Bell is a famous violinist who has been playing the instrument for over 30 years. He was well known for his classical music but now he plays many other types of music like jazz and bluegrass. He had a very successful career as a soloist and he was also the conductor of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields. Bell has won many awards such as Grammys and Emmys.

Hilary Hahn is one of the most talented violinists in America today. She started playing when she was five years old and got her first solo at Carnegie Hall when she was just nine years old. She is also an accomplished pianist and she often performs.

Undeniably the reigning virtuoso of the violin, Itzhak Perlman enjoys superstar status rarely afforded a classical musician. Beloved for his charm and humanity as well as his talent, he is treasured by audiences throughout the world who respond not only to his remarkable artistry, but also to the irrepressible joy of making music, which he communicates.

How can I learn how to play violin?

The violin is a string instrument that is played by either drawing a bow across its strings or plucking them. It has four strings and it comes in different sizes.

There are many ways to learn how to play the violin, but most people start with some basic lessons so they know the basics of reading music and playing the instrument. Some people learn how to play the violin by ear, but this can be difficult for beginners because they don’t have any guidance on what notes are being played.

What is the best violin for beginners?

The best violin for beginners is a good question. The answer can depend on the age of the beginner, size of their hands and budget.

For kids with small hands, a ¾ size violin is recommended. This type of instrument is smaller than a full-sized violin and easier to hold for children who are just starting out. A ¾ size violin sounds great too!

For adults with larger hands, a full-sized violin may be more appropriate. It’s also easier to play and it has a fuller sound compared to its smaller counterpart.

The best way to find the perfect instrument for your needs is to experiment by visiting your local music store and try out as many violins as you can in person!

What’s the best way to learn music theory for violin?

There are a lot of different ways to learn music theory for violin.

One way is to read books on the subject, which is one of the most common methods.

Another way is to take music lessons from a teacher.

And yet another way is to take online courses or watch videos on YouTube.

There are a number of online communities and forums for violin players available on the internet. They range from groups for people who want to learn how to play the violin, to those who are interested in learning about different types of violins.

Some of these communities and forums include:

  • Violinist.com – Violinist Forum
  • Violinist.org – The Strad Magazine

Do you have to be good at math to play a violin?

No, you don’t need to be good at math to play a violin. The reason is that the violin is a string instrument and it doesn’t need any calculations. It just needs to be tuned and played with the fingers.

What is the future of the violin?

We can’t know for sure what the future of the violin will be, but we can make some educated guesses based on what we have seen so far.

For starters, it is unlikely that the violin will ever go away completely. It has been around for centuries and has a rich history. The violin is also a versatile instrument that can be used in many different genres of music. This versatility ensures that it will always have its place in music.

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