William Fitzpatrick - violin expert

Violin Melodies

A very useful book of melodies for the young violinist

In this video, Prof. Fitzpatrick tells you the story of his Violin Melodies book, and how it can help young violin students a great deal.

Released on November 6, 2019

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DISCLAIMER: The views and the opinions expressed in this video are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Virtual Sheet Music and its employees.

Video Transcription

First came my song book, or Chansons, but after that I needed a book that would get my students to the Vivaldi A Minor Concerto and the Kaiser Etudes. Because I really did not like the available possibilities, I decided to write one myself. And it's here that my melodies book was born. Why did I call them melodies and not etudes? Let's just say I liked what Mr. Leigh might have called "trickery." My melodies were written over the span of a year on the train from Fontainebleau to Levallois-Perret in France. I reviewed the Vivaldi concerto and Kaiser etudes with the following question in mind: What does a student need to be able to do mechanically to be successful in the study of these works?

For each area that I found, I wrote a melody that would lead to the acquisition of that skill. This generally took about a week and then I would test it on my older students at the Conservatoire Maurice Ravel, Levallois-Perret. When I finished, I had composed 16 melodies. They follow the key order of; A major, D major, G major, B flat major, and E flat major. In effect, these show that all the melodies when viewed through the lens of Tetra chords or scales transformed. Let's have a look at some of my melodies and get a closer idea of just what I did. When showing melody one to a student for the first time, the student's eyes will open wide and they will probably say, "So many notes!" and be afraid to try. At this point, I asked them to play a one octave scale ascending. Then, I asked them to play a one octave scale A major descending.

At this point I asked them to double the first note of the descending scale. I asked them to put them open E before the first A. I asked them to play the open E twice as long and suddenly they catch on. Here, let me play the melody for you.

That's my first melody. You see the first part of the phrase of the melody is the scale. From here, learning how to practice and memorize. Can begin to be implemented as the form of this and most of the melodies are ABA. A, B, A. With this, you can begin to explain what a phrase is and at the same time show them the recurrence of the first theme and the second A section. They will then begin to understand that they only have to practice the A section.

Thus, saving time and allowing for a more intense practice. That was my first melody. The second one is interesting. I think, at least. In this one we start doing left-hand pits. Third finger, second finger. First finger. This melody too is used to set the left hand gesture. Fingers moving from the string, by using left hand pizzicato.

In the music, the left hand pizzicato is of course indicated by a cross above the note. The amount of power needed to do this is small. The student needs to place his finger on the left side of the string. And pull the finger back into his hand. Here, have a look. Now the bow should be at the tip so that the resulting sound would be closer to the pizzicato. It's more like a hit. Rather than a smooth tool.

This melody, at first glance, it's about the alternating of the bow with the left hand pits. But as I've just said, it's as well about how to pull your finger from the string. It's for this reason, that it's being taught at such an early age. You've never lived until you see a six year old do this. Looking at melody sixth the use of the martele' stroke at the tip., is used to aid in the development of better eye to left hand coordination. It aids in the recognition that the left hand fingers should be placed on the string before the actual movement of the bow. Before the initiation of the stroke. Here, have a listen. Have you gotten an idea about what's found in my book?

I compose the 16 melodies over 30 years ago and had been using them. Some of my students have as well, with much success ever since. Here's hoping that you find them as useful as I have. I forgot something. I had wrote these short shifts, eight short shifts, at the end of the book. They are simple, and the idea is simple. Here, let me show you. You play the melody in first position. And then you play the fingering, the chunk. Same notes, but with a different finger. (silence) And that's that. That's my introduction to my etude, AKA melody book.
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Comments, Questions, Requests:

Shirley Gibson * VSM MEMBER * on December 4, 2019 @11:30 am PST
Dear Dr. Fitzpatrick ~ another useful and entertaining video, which I will be sharing with my violin-playing friends. Thank you! But I must add that, as a mother, my heart broke for the 17 year-old boy going through the experience you described. But look at the maturity you displayed by throwing the rosin against the wall, and NOT your violin! A special 75th video, indeed.
William - host, on December 4, 2019 @4:59 pm PST
Thank you! I've tried to mature over the years!!
Christian Wan on November 27, 2019 @9:05 pm PST
Where can I buy this book?
Fabrizio Ferrari - moderator and CEO, on November 28, 2019 @10:05 am PST
Here on VSM Christian:


It is an e-book. Instant download!

Please, let me know if you have any further questions.

All the best,
Eugenie Van Zyl * VSM MEMBER * on November 6, 2019 @5:12 am PST
Thank you Professor William Fitzpatrick once again for your useful video clip on virtualsheetmusic.com! I immediately went and bought it! And because I have been a member of virtualsheetmusic.com for many years, I got 50% discount - What a bargain! I just wish Orange County California was closer to Melville Saskatchewan then I would have gone for lessons with you!
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