Several years ago, while researching my dissertation topic of teaching from the right side of the brain, I came across a book in the university library. It was called Violin Physics. The book was by Lothar Cremer, and it had been recently translated from German into English. I picked it up and began to read it, discovering quickly that the techniques described in it were not only professionally satisfying for a meticulous performer, but remarkably ergonomic and tension relieving. The book represented the culmination of a long concerted effort by German and Swedish physicists from 1980-present to quantify and understand just how string instruments really worked. Computers had finally made possible the analysis of intricate details that had puzzled previous generations.
As violinists, our last full book of standardized professional technique, by Ivan Galamian (or one of his students), came from 1961. This meant that the research in Violin Physics was entirely new. It has therefore been my goal to bring this information to the string community as a way of solving many of the problems that all of us face. My goal is to bring more moments of “Aha!” instead of frustration, more relaxed and facile hands that will never deal with repetitive motion injury, more emotionally healthy practice and thought patterns, and a better understanding of how our bodies and kinesiology work in coordination with the science of our instruments.
If you are joining me on this journey, may it be for you a journey of joyous discovery and beautiful music-making!