I’m typing the Rostal extensions of the Carl Flesch scale book into Sibelius and transposing them into all keys so I can adhere to Rostal’s daily routine as much as possible and actually remember my fingerings. If you guys don’t know about Flesch scales (or decided to not read the Preface, which is unfortunate) Rostal explains what he did and gives a weekly routine since it’s really hard to practice EVERYTHING and get to all the other lovely things violinists have to learn…

For those that are still tl;dr about the whole thing- here are some Cliffs for you (I wikipedia’d for accuracy but am only shooting for generalities, feel free to grill me on details if you like as I’d like to learn more specifc things:)
1) Flesch releases The Art of Violin Playing in 1923, the scales are introduced as a supplement but only in C major. They include:

  • One octave scales/arpeggio sequence/broken thirds/chromatic scales on one string only (1-4)
  • 3-octave scales/arpeggio sequence/broken thirds/chromatic scales (5)
  • Thirds serpentines, broken thirds, and chromatic scales (6)
  • Sixths serpentines, broken thirds, and chromatic scales (7)
  • 1/4 Octave serpentines, arpeggio sequence, broken thirds, and chromatic scales (8)
  • Fingered Octave serpentines, arpeggio sequence, broken thirds and chromatic scales (9)
  • Tenths scales, two octaves (10)
  • 1/4 artificial harmonic two octave scales, major two octave arpeggio, broken thirds (11)
  • Artificial harmonic double stops (12)

2) These are hard! Lazy violinists only practice the scale routine in C major.
3) Rostal gets huffy at this, and goes ahead and transposes the above routine into all major/minor keys.
4) Rostal makes a supplement of his own, but only in C major/a minor. The supplement covers lots of new things (examples being fourths, fifths, sevenths) and extends on what Flesch started, typically adding an octave or changing fingerings, to address deficiencies that he observed in violin pedagogy with regards to technique

Since I am the archetypal Sibelius-idiot, I looked up how to write Octave lines in the help PDF and stumbled across this:

“[Octave (8/15)] lines are predominantly used to avoid multiple leger lines on a staff. While frequently used in keyboard music, these lines seldom occur in music for other instruments.”

So THIS is why composers at this school write violin parts with 315803159731907510957310579130 leger lines… no, really, thanks guys! When I have to read a part that has a high-high D, or even a high-high B, and it’s way-the way fuck up in the stratosphere, and you still expect to read it perfectly, I die a little inside. I propose that Sibelius delete this ‘observation,’ or that composers stop writing so goddamn high.

Actually, I like playing high things, and it’s why I play the violin. My bad eyes don’t make it easy, though.

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