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When I was 7 years old I was born again! Five years later, the Lord filled me with His Holy Spirit and called me out to serve in full time service in the ministry. My heart is missions and a longing to love people into God's Kingdom.
I love to teach God's Word, pray with people and write. 
Soon, we are hoping our Jesus opens amazing doors to walk into mission endeavors.

Friday, February 28, 2014


   Greetings to yet another Unit Study. The first item of business is for my student to design their unit study folder. For this one in particular; we have a collection of violin magazines to glue pictures, as well as scrap book stickers.  Make sure you print out a time line or have your student design their own. Also, print out or draw maps; Europe; Italy...etc. Please notice when a word is highlighted means it is a LINK to a website. Be sure to click. We will include; history, geography, culture, event happenings during the periods studied, science of music, and art.  Two of my children do play the violin, thus as they both have learned the history and design it greatly increased their passion in playing.

Violinists Tabitha & Felecia Snowden

I.) What is a Violin
 A.) "The violin is a bowed string instrument with four strings tuned in perfect fifths. It is the smallest and highest-pitched member of the violin family of string instruments, which also includes the viola and cello."
 B.) Vitula; meaning stringed instrument [Latin] 
 C.) "A person who plays the violin is called a violinist or fiddler"
 D.) Parts of a violin:

II.) History of the Violin
 A.) First plucked (Asia - Middle East)
 B.) 2 String With Horse Hair strings & bows (likely Turks & Mongolian)
 C.) Other instruments that they were changed into:
   1.) Erhu (China) Listen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMhVTtzlgJE
Erhu musician

    2.) Rebab (Middle East) - watch & listen: 1500's
    3.) Iyra (Byzantine) - watch & listen: 9th Century  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLTp3Jl7_Oc
or : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_hNAeKCFzU

  4.) Esraj (India - Listen & watch) to highlighted link.

   5.) Present Form for Europe, America's: 16th Century developed in N. Italy & Ports of Venice.

 6.) Lute   & A Brief History

 Added Info: Origins of the Violin 
Here is a MORE detail list of the famous luthiers.

III.) Famous Violin & Luthiers
 A.) Andrea Amati  (ca. 1505 – ca. 1578)
  [FACT: born 5 yrs. after Kings Charles V / 2 yrs. after the Mono Lisa]
Amati Violin
    Created the design of the violin (plus cello and viola). 1500's
   1.) Amati's 2 sons: Antonio and Girolamo  ["The Brothers Amati"]
    Made new innovations to the violins together. 
   2.) Gerolamo's Son: Nicolò Amati (December 3, 1596 – April 12, 1684)
     a.)  Improved the violin and was able to give it more power.
     b.) Created the  "Grand Amati" (this became very popular)
     c.) Famous pupils:  Antonio Stradivari and Andrea Guarneri
     d.) Brescian Museum (his violin)
   3.)  Nicolo's son, Girolamo Amati, known as Hieronymus II (February 26, 1649 – February 21, 1740) :  Last of luthiers in the family.
   4.) Listen to Amati's original violin being played: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ujho88bxkNg
   5.) Cremona, Italy
   6.) European History Time Line 1500's:
Add caption

1.) Gasparo Bertolotti (1542-1609)
2.) Founder of the Brescian school of violin makers.

[FACT Italian Renaissance  began in Italy during the 14th century and lasted until the 16th century, marking the transition between Medieval and Modern.] 

  1.) 1580-c. 1630
  2.) Salo, Italy (map it) 
  3.) Apprenticed with Gasparo da Salo.
  4.) Improve the tone quality of his instruments; "...at the end of his career were his finest. They are known for the quality of the woods and unusually large sound holes (which are well curved and carefully finished), as well as for their exceptionally mellow tone."

D.) Jacob Stainer  (c. 1617-1683) [ Smithsonian Info. ]  MAP   & Austrian Flag
 1.) Austrian violin maker 
 2.) instruments more sought after in all of Europe till Stradivari.
 3.) "Some characteristic features of his instruments are the relatively broad lower back, higher arching of the belly than the back, beautifully cut scrolls and, in some cases, beautifully carved heads of lions, angels, or women, and varnish ranging in color from amber to orange-red, comparable in brilliance to Cremonese varnish." Smithsonian
  4.)  In 1669 -- "...he was arrested in Innsbruck, having been found in possession of books concerning Lutheranism, and had to do an act of repentance; between 1670 and 1679 he continued to receive orders from the church. In 1680, probably due to persecution as a heretic, he fell into a manic-depressive syndrome, dying three years later in Absam."   [wiki]  --- MARTYR FOR CHRIST!

E.) Andrea Guarneri (1623-1698)   [Added Link
  1.)  Founder of the house of Guarneri violin makers.
  2.)  Cremona, Italy
  3.) Student of Nicolo Amati & lived with the family.
  4.) son, Pietro Giovanni,-  carry on his father's violin making
  5.)  Andrea's youngest son  known in the violin trade as Joseph Guarnerius, filius Andreæ

F.) Antonio Stradivari (c.1644-1737)   
A Stradivari Violin
 1.)  Superlative in every category. 
  2.) 70 years of being a luthier
 3.worked with two of his sons, Francesco (1671–1743) and Omobono (1679–1742)
  4.) "1700 to 1720, his "Golden Period," Stradivari produced many of his finest violins."
 5.) 600 LEFT
  6.) Stradivari also made harps, guitars, violas, and cellos.

  7.) Golden" period: 1700-1737

     a.) larger than before [Long Strads]
     b.) went to a darker varnish
     c.) 1698 after: left the Long Strads
  8.) Violin, 1693   "... produce a louder, more brilliant tone and to extend the left-hand technique to higher positions, Baroque violins had gut strings, a short fingerboard, and a neck angled back only slightly from the body. "
    9.) Some Violins Made by Antonio Stradivari

        * 1690 "Tuscan" violin
        * "The Antonius," 1711  WATCH 
        * Francesca Violin WATCH 

      *1719 'Duke of Alba'  watch

         *The 'Lady Blunt' Stradivarius of 1721 WATCH

 G.) Bartolomeo Giuseppe Guarneri August 1698 –  October 1744 (name means: 'of Jesus')  [CLICK HERE MORE INFO]
  1.) Rival of Stradivari
   2.) Best Luthiers of Amati line.
   3.) Instruments are called Josephs or del Gesùs
   4.) Violins more harsh tone.
   5.) Less than 150 today have survived.
   6. )Hear:  1742 'Lord Wilton'

IV.) Violin in the Orchestra 

  A.) Or·ches·tra: "a group of performers on various musical instruments, including especially
 stringed instruments of the viol class, clarinets and flutes, cornets and trombones, drums, and 
cymbals, for playing music, as symphonies, operas, popular music, or other compositions."
  B.) Viol class: a family of bowed, fretted and stringed musical . 
  C.) Concert: "consort" was used to mean a group of instrumentalists, and sometimes singers too, making music together or "in concert". [http://www.nyphilkids.org/lockerroom/history_f-r.html]
  D.)  The violin family: violin, viola, cello, and bass.  
  E.) Work sheets
  F.) Games: http://www.musicgames.net/livegames/orchestra/orchestra2.htm


   A.) Sizes of Violins
     1.) "1/16 - Suitable for young children age 3 to five years old. with an arm length of 14 to 15 3/8 inches.
     2.) 1/10 - Also for young musicians age 3 to 5 years old, with an arm length of 15 3/8 to 17 inches.
     3.)1/8 - Again, for young violin enthusiasts age 3 to 5 years old with an arm length of 17.1 to 17.5 inches.
     4.) 1/4 - With an arm length of 17.6 to 20 inches, this violin is suitable for children 4 to 7 years old.
     5.) 1/2 - For children ages 6 to 10 years old, with an arm length of 20 to 22 inches.
     6.)  3/4 or 'three-quarter' size
     7.) 4/4 or Full Size Violin - For violinists age 9 and above with an arm length of 23.5 and up." This is the size for adults
"to measure what size of violin is right for the child violinist is to turn the violin back side up, and rest the back of the violin along the left under-arm of the child. If the child can reach the top of the scroll, then this is a good indication that the child will be able to manage this size of violin without dropping it, or becoming too cramped in the arm with too little space to play." http://www.get-tuned.com/types-of-violins.php

   B.) Acoustic or Non-Electric Violin -" This is the traditional violin that is more suitable for beginners. The violin is a bowed string instrument that has the highest tune and is the smallest among the violin family of instruments. It is also called the fiddle when used to play traditional or folk music.

  C.) Electric Violin - As the name implies, electric violins use an electronic signal output and is suited for more advanced players. The sound of an electric violin is sharper than that of an acoustic."
 Classified by period or era:

   D.) Baroque Violin - "The violin of this period had a shallower angle and neck, there was not much thought given to chin and shoulder rests and the strings were strung in gut with equal tension.
   E.) Classical Violin - The violin of this period had a thinner neck and smaller heels than that of the Baroque period.
   F.)  Modern Violin - The neck of the modern violin is more sharply angled, the wood used is thinner and smaller and the strings are tuned higher."
[From: About.com by Espie Estrella]
 G.) Violins are also classified by th5eir maker or country of origin.

Baroque Violin Jacob Stainer's 1679

VI.) Violin Making [Click link for a step by step method of violin crafting.]


VII.) Composers for the Violin.
     A.) Antonio Vivaldi March 4, 1678 - Venice,
      B.) Johann Sebastian Bach (March 21, 1685–July 28, 1750)
         1.)" Eisenach (Thuringia), the birthplace of Johann Sebastian Bach, with the famous Wartburg on top of the mountain (Luther translated the New Testament into German here)."
      C.) Ludwig van Beethoven (baptized December 17, 1770 d. March 26, 1827)
      German composer
      transitional period between the Classical and Romantic eras
      Germany Map  [for both composers]
      D.) Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (January 27, 1756 - December 5, 1791)
      Western classical music
      began to compose his own works at the age of five
       Mozart became a Freemason:  The Magic Flute includes Masonic themes and meanings.

       E.) Long List of Violin Composers: [CLICK link]

VIII.) Famous Violinists Past & Present
       B.) List by names (100's)  a few linked (Click) 
      C.) Baroque era 22 listed  [1600-1750]
       1.) Few of the favorites: Bach (composer & virtuoso)
       2.) Vivaldi (composer & virtuoso)
     D.) Classical era 27 listed  [1775-1825]
     E.) Romantic era  55Listed[1850-1920]
     F.) 20th Century Era  Several Listed
     G.) Christian Violinist; Bill Murk  -- Present day musician. 
     H.) Present Day Well known violinists [Remember to click the links.]
      1.) Julia Fischer :  Artist of the Year at the 2007 Classic FM Gramophone Awards. 
      2.)  Itzhak Perlman the Israeli : Israeli-American violinist, conductor, and teacher.
      3.)  Joshua Bell the American: "American Grammy Award- winning violinist and conductor."
      4.)  Hilary Hahn the American : Two- time Grammy-winning American violinist.
      5.) Janine Jansen the Netherlands:  Violinist and violist
      6.) Sarah Chang the American: Korean American is a classical violinist. 
      7.) Viktoria Mullova the Russian: "Has appeared with most of the world's greatest orchestras and conductors and at the major international festivals."
      8.) Maxim Vengerov the Russian:  "Violin and viola virtuoso, conductor and educator, one of the most outstanding musicians of our time."
      9.) Máiréad Nesbitt : The lively violinist for the Celtic Woman. 
   10.) Lindsey Stirling: "Voted off 2010’s America’s Got Talent, Rejection simply strengthened Stirling. Her song ‘Crystallize’ was the eighth most-viewed video on Youtube last year, racking up an incredible 78 million views . My daughters favorite female violinist." 

 IX.) Vocabulary
     A.) Violin: Virtualla; meaning stringed instrument - 4 strings tuned in perfect 5ths
     B.) Fiddle: 
     C.) Luthier: A person who makes or repairs violins.
     D.) Violinists: A person who plays the violin.
     E.) Lute:  "any string instrument having the strings running in a plane parallel to the sound table (in the Hornbostel–Sachs system), more specifically to any plucked string instrument with a neck (either fretted or unfretted) and a deep round back, or more specifically to an instrument from the family of European lutes." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lute)
     G.) Baroque music: followed the Renaissance/ large range of styles/ mostly in Europe for around 150 years 
     H.)  virtuoso:a person who has special knowledge or skill in a field.      a person who excels in musical technique or execution. 
    I.)  pizzicati: played by plucking the strings with the finger instead of using the bow, as on a

The Man with the Violin by Kathy Stinson 

Top 10 Violin Method Books for Children

I See a Song by Eric Carle

The Stradivarius Code Meeks/Lorenz

History of the Violin (Dover Books on Music)   by William Sandys, Simon Andrew Forster 

2.) Beginning basic violin technique
3.) Violin Stars: Violin lessons for beginners. [YouTube]
4.) Onlinelessonsvideos   For intermediates includes fiddling- blue grass, Celtic, gospel & even classical = fun site.  Love this site!
5.) Violintutorpro  For intermediates 
6.) Heather Broadbent  Beginners, games...good teacher
7.) Violin On-Line Lessons, Helps, Music and more...: PLAYING POSITION, FINGERING, TECHNIQUE, SET-UP, theory

Violin Curriculum
1.) Suzuki: Suzuki Violin Method of Talent Education is written with Dr. Shinichi Suzuki's teachings.  [We use this.]
2.) Essentials Elements : They use a cd with the book. We started using this these past couple of years as extra 'help' with theory.  

How To Care For Your Violin  Different suggest, with different ideas. But, do recall on how a violin is made. Precious woods. Taking the best care is vital, yet be careful to not clean your violin like the dining room table. Totally unique aspects to this. 
1.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Ffr3ldIOYg
2.) Violin Care and Instrument Maintenance : how to clean, care for, Violin Pegs, Bow Bugs (or mites)
3.) Guide for Violin Care & Maintenance : practical tips

Where to Purchase A Violin:
   I can only give you simple advice. First, if you happen to know someone who is good with the violin and or teaches; talk with them.
  Find violinist (one's who do not benefit from a sale) and try to contact them and simply ask.
  There are great music stores all across America and this entire planet. Check out the pro's, see what they play. Some will share in their biographies what they played as children. From there, start searching. Just be careful of cheaply built instruments. Check the woods, varnishes, technique of making the violins. 
  There are many violins out on the market that are used. If your student is young, don't rule this out. Some of the finest violins are used. [If of course, they were well cared for.] I know several violinists. When we started out, we lived in the Mt.'s of North Carolina; of where many blue grass fiddlers play their tunes. Amazing musicians!


 I truly hope this has educated and inspired your student and the the teacher. 
Perhaps one day, we all will have a true virtuoso on our hands!

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