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Marie Brown

Berkley: The Modern Technique of Violin Bowing

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Schirmer published this treatise in 1941. I bought a copy in about 1967, on the recommendation of my teacher. I believe that this excellent text is now out of print, though Schirmer shows Harold Berkley as the editor of four items it does continue to offer. Can anyone on this board tell me anything about Harold Berkley?

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Marie, Google shows 60 entries for Harold Berkley and makes reference to the publications on violin bowing. If you have not checked, it might answer your question. Ben

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Tee-Hee. So today I actually talked to several helpful people at Schirmer. They couldn't see any record of the book, probably because it has no library number. They advised me to send in a permission request, along with copies of the title page and copyright. MacMillan has taken over many books formerly published by Shirmer. I may do a little further search there before I do the request. If the book is really vanishing, it would be a shame not to try figuring out a legal way to share it with my grownup students and colleagues.

I still would like to know something about Harold Berkley himself.

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assume this is what you are looking for. Per the card catalogue of the Columbus Ohio Public Library. They have a fairly good collection of music stuff.

********************************************************************************

*************

Author: Berkley, Harold.

Title: The modern technique of violin bowing : an analysis of the principles of modern bowing, and how to apply them to musical interpretation (with many exercises and examples) /

Publishing Information: New York : G. Schirmer, c1941.

Physical Description: 47 p. : illus. ; 30 cm.

The system owns 2 copies of this title.

Call Number M 787.219369 B513m score Available

********************************************************************************

**********

Maybe the library call number (Dewy Decimal System) will help.

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There's no biographical information in the book. I imagine that in 1941 everybody in the violin-playing world knew who Harold Berkley was. The library idea is a good one, since most university music departments would have Grove's.

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Quote:

I imagine that in 1941 everybody in the violin-playing world knew who Harold Berkley was.


Actually, not so. My late teacher who was an Auer pupil and who was active in music until the day he died in the mid '70's had never heard of Mr. Berkley. I remember him laughing about the comments Harold Berkley had written in the Schirmer edition of the Rode Studies.

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For lack of context, I'll resist the urge to try guessing why your teacher laughed. I sometimes laugh when reading Carl Flesch; I like his caustic sense of humor, just as I did when I was nineteen years old. For reasons amply illustrated in the current threads, anyone who braves the hazards of writing about violin technique is going to need the resilience that a sense of humor provides.

As for recognition, here's a partial listing of the performers interviewed for the 1955 publication of "With the Artists": Elman, Francescatti, Fuchs, Heifetz, Kreisler, Menuhin, Milstein, Morini, Ricci, Stern, Szigeti, Zimbalist, Katims, Primrose. Here are all seven of the teacher interviewees: Applebaum, Berkley, Dounis, Galamian, Kurtz, Persinger, Stassevitch. Guess which two names I don't recognize. I'm crossing my fingers that they're cello or bass teachers.

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Thanks Fiolmattias. Stassevitch and Kurtz were the two I didn't know.

Today I received a photocopy of the Berkley interview in "With the Artists" (Markert & Co., 1955). This chapter is about eight pages long, including a nice photograph and biographical sketch. Many thanks for kind librarians!

Applebaum wrote:

"Harold Berkley was born in Ledbury, England, and began the study of the violin when three. His father, an excellent amateur violinist, was his first teacher. When he was seventeen, he came to the United States. He studied for a number of years with the late Franz Kneisel, founder of the famous Kneisel Quartet. Mr. Berkley made many successful concert tours throughout the eastern half of the United States between 1922 and 1942, as well as in Germany, Austria and England. He has been a member of the faculties of the Juilliard School of Music and Hartford School of Music, conductor of the Hartford Oratorio Society, and since 1943 has been Violin Editor of the Etude Music Magazine. He also is author of important pedagogical works published by G. Schirmer, Theodore Presser, and Carl Fischer. Mr. Berkley now devotes most of his time to private teaching."

I also found out yesterday that a collection of twelve bowing exercises was published by Schirmer in 1943, as a companion to Berkley's technique book. I wonder if anyone can come up with these.

Harold Berkley never got into the Grove Dictionary, but Applebaum's high regard for him is significant, I think.

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Oh. Are there perhaps two of them? Milton Katims was the conductor of the Seattle Symphony from the '50's, and I thought (think?) he was (is?) a cellist. I could be mistaken about the instrument, since I never saw him play.

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Oops. I did my homework. He is indeed a violist. As I mentioned, I never saw him hold anything but a baton. I thought you must be talking about someone else, because he was born in 1909, and mature when he conducted in the 1950's. No offense to violists.

And now, ...back to Berkley.

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Thanks Fiolmattias. Stassevitch and Kurtz were the two I didn't know.

Today I received a photocopy of the Berkley interview in "With the Artists" (Markert & Co., 1955). This chapter is about eight pages long, including a nice photograph and biographical sketch. Many thanks for kind librarians!

Applebaum wrote:

"Harold Berkley was born in Ledbury, England, and began the study of the violin when three. His father, an excellent amateur violinist, was his first teacher. When he was seventeen, he came to the United States. He studied for a number of years with the late Franz Kneisel, founder of the famous Kneisel Quartet. Mr. Berkley made many successful concert tours throughout the eastern half of the United States between 1922 and 1942, as well as in Germany, Austria and England. He has been a member of the faculties of the Juilliard School of Music and Hartford School of Music, conductor of the Hartford Oratorio Society, and since 1943 has been Violin Editor of the Etude Music Magazine. He also is author of important pedagogical works published by G. Schirmer, Theodore Presser, and Carl Fischer. Mr. Berkley now devotes most of his time to private teaching."

I also found out yesterday that a collection of twelve bowing exercises was published by Schirmer in 1943, as a companion to Berkley's technique book. I wonder if anyone can come up with these.

Harold Berkley never got into the Grove Dictionary, but Applebaum's high regard for him is significant, I think.

I know this reply is a long time after the initial post, but here goes.

I have a copy of a set of 12 exercises that I have had since studying at the conservatorium. I have no title page, so no idea as to who authored it. There are references to Harold Berkeley " the modern technique of violin bowing". It would appear that what I have is the set of 12 bowing exercises that form the companion. Yahoo, I finally know what it is after 30 years!!!!

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Harold Berkley, 315 W. 98th St., New York, has blue eyes, blond hair, weighs 178, and is 5' 1 1/4" in height.

Violinist and member of the faculty of the Institute of Musical Art in New York and the Hartford School of Music,

Mr. Berkley's writings include The Modern Technique of Violin Bowing, With a foreword by Louis Persinger (1941); Twelve Studies in Modern Bowing (1943)

Berkley Summer School Formed HARRISON, ME. — Harold Berkley, master classes in violin and chamber music.

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In case anyone is interested, here are some downloadable resources:

The mastery of the bow and bowing subtleties by Stoeving pdf

The bow, its history, manufacture & use Henry Saint-George pdf

'A Guide to Bowing' by Scott Skinner page images

58 Exercices de l'archet et du doigter pour le violon (Schall, Claus ... pdf

Sevcik was on Google books but I think they took it off.

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[q

++++++++++++++

I find any book of violin instruction is hard to follow. I start to learn with "bow holds" after that I just go slow and untiI feel easy and comfortable.

However, when I read the music to play and play fast. I have no idea how well I follow. My attention is diverted to read the music.

Since I am not a professional. Violin teachers of mine, many of them, did not say anything of my bow hold. Maybe I do alright all along.

I find some violinists are very good to hold the bows, but many do not. It is a kind of surprise. I think their early stages of learnings make

them different.

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Nice to see this 7 1/2 year old thread come back :)

It would be insteresting to see if his method has any merit today. His edition of the Pag Caprices is essentially just Flesch's, but with less even numbered positions. It contains an short but interesting study guide in the beginning.

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On 1/4/2012 at 11:46 PM, RBD said:

I know this reply is a long time after the initial post, but here goes.

I have a copy of a set of 12 exercises that I have had since studying at the conservatorium. I have no title page, so no idea as to who authored it. There are references to Harold Berkeley " the modern technique of violin bowing". It would appear that what I have is the set of 12 bowing exercises that form the companion. Yahoo, I finally know what it is after 30 years!!!!

Hi RBD,

It's really interesting to see how long ago this thread was (I'm hoping you see this message). I'm a conservatoire student currently searching for what I believe are those 12 bowing exercises. Are you able to scan a copy to me? It would be greatly appreciated!

Many thanks,

NK

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