Historical Introduction and Translation of Ferdinando Giorgetti’s Viola Method (1854)

Price:$159.95 + shipping
(Click the PayPal button to buy)
This work is a rare contribution to 19th-century viola literature. It has been mentioned in music dictionaries, Zeyringer’s Literature für Viola, Riley’s The History of the Viola, The Violexchange, and the American String Teacher. Its availability, however has been lacking for over a century. This modern edition, enriched with an historical introduction and English translation will be a welcome addition to libraries. It also contains a facsimile of the original text.


“…Metodo per esercitarsi a ben suonare l’alto-viola (1854) is especially significant because it addresses the dearth of specialist viola players by encouraging talented violinists to make the transition to the viola…..Arguably most important are the six character studies in duet format included in Part 2 and particularly the technically challenging Gran Solo in Forma di Scena drammatica, which forms the third part of the treatise….The viola player essentially takes on the role of an opera singer in music that combines recitatives, passages of arioso and coloratura-like virtuoso figuration. In bringing Giorgetti’s treatise to public notice once again, Franco Sciannameo adds one more piece towards completing the jigsaw that is the history of viola playing…. Sciannameo places Giorgetti’s treatise and its content in an appropriate historical context, enhances our knowledge of the Florentine’s life and background and uses his interdisciplinary specialisms to amplify knowledge of the musical, social and political situation in Giorgetti’s Italy, and in Florence in particular. His translation balances scholarship, readability and fidelity to the original and allows Giorgetti’s personality and musical opinions to come clearly to the surface.” – Robin Stowell, Professor and Head of Music, Cardiff University

“…the compositions that form the major part of the book are extremely valuable additions to the teaching repertory, and in one case, perhaps to the performing repertory. Every viola teacher and every serious student of the instrument will want to own this volume.” – Patricia Howard

Table of Contents

Table of Contents:
Foreword; Preface; Introduction
Ferdinando Giorgetti
Metodo per esercitarsi a ben suonare l’alto-viola
English translation
Part One: Tonal Range of the Viola; A Brief Note on the Left Hand Position; On How to Hold the Bow and Its Conduct; On the Conduct [of the bow]; Preliminary Position Exercise; Ascending Diatonic Scale; Descending Diatonic Scale; Intervals of Third, Fourth, Fifths, Sixths; Intervals composed of Octaves and Thirds; Chromatic Ascending Scale with Sharps; Descending Scale with Flats; Appoggiatura; Trills; Scale in First Position; Summation of all Preceding Positions, with Further Notions of 6th, 7th, 8th positions; Exercise in Form of a Prelude
Part Two: Exercise in Double and Triple Stops; Some Instructions to Serve as an Introduction to Six Characteristic Etudes
Part Three: Gran Solo for the Viola in Form of a Dramatic Scene
Works Cited; Index of Names
Metodo per esercitarsi a ben suonare l’alto-viola: Facsimile of Original Edition (Florence, 1854)

Other Music-Musicology Books