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Analysis of Carl Flesch Scale System

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See also:
  • Carl Flesch, Memoirs - free download from Universal Library
  • Carl Flesch: Scale Studies: Violin | Viola
  • Handout: Violin/Viola, Piano - 3 octave scale fingerings
  • Free one- to three-octave Printable Violin and Viola Scales
  • John Krakenberger: Galamian Scale System - Methodology

    See for analysis: G Major section (pdf)

    #1-4: One octave shifting studies on one string, with the following format:
  • one-octave scale
  • one-octave arpeggios: i, I, vi6, IV6, iv6, #ii 4/2, I7
  • one-octave thirds
  • one-octave chromatic

  • #5: Three octave scales and arpeggios, with the following format:
  • three-octave scale
  • three-octave arpeggios: i, I, vi6, IV6, iv6, #ii 4/2, I7
  • three-octave thirds
  • three-octave chromatic

  • #6-10 are Double-stops:

    #6: Thirds
  • thirds
  • chromatic thirds

  • #7: Sixths
  • sixths
  • thirds in sixths
  • chromatic sixths

  • #8: Octaves
  • octaves
  • octave arpeggios: i, I, vi6, IV6, iv6, #ii 4/2, I7
  • octave thirds
  • chromatic octaves

  • #9: Fingered octaves
  • fingered octaves
  • fingered octave arpeggios: i, I, vi6, IV6, iv6, #ii 4/2, I7
  • fingered octave thirds
  • chromatic fingered octave

  • #10: Tenths

    #11: Artificial harmonics
  • two-octave scale
  • arpeggio: I
  • thirds

  • #12: Chords with artificial harmonics


    Galamian has a scale study method covering much the same material, but includes more contemporary harmonies, more diverse choice of fingerings, and a separate book with bowing options. Notes are only note heads, which is different than the Carl Flesch.

    An even more contemporary scale and arpeggio study book with a jazz/rock influence is Mark Wood's Electrify Your Strings. This may be studied with an acoustic instrument and is well worth examining.

    For fiddlers, I recommend the Mel Bay Fiddling Chord Book.

    Violin Scale Books
    A Tune A Day Beginning Scales for Violin
    Barbara Barber: Scales for Advanced Violinists
    Susan Brown: Two Octave Scales And Bowings For The Violin
    Paul Rolland, James Starr: Three Octave Scale Fingering Alternatives
    Hrimaly: Scale Book - violin
    Schradieck: School Of Violin Technics: Bk. 1, Bk. 2, Bk. 3
    Sitt: Scales Studies For Violin, Op. 41
    Carl Flesch: Scale Studies - violin
    Galamian Contemporary Violin Technique: Vol. 1, Vol. 2.
    Viola Scale Books



    FINGER POSITIONS





    Taken from John's essay "Physiological Development for the Future Violinist" [See:
    Articles link, Krakenberger.org]:

    During the 20 years I have been teaching I have found that the best way to face this problem [of improving coordination] is using a scheme proposed by Galamian in his book. Strangely enough I have met in several places with doubt about how this is to be implemented: People either did not get the idea right or it was just too difficult to do and was dismissed as being something reserved for the top-talents. It isn't easy, by no means, but with some insistence everybody can cope. And the result is surprisingly good. After mastering the scheme students are no longer blocked, and their security in tackling hard passages grows. It is for this reason only, that I spell it out again for everybody to understand:

    The scheme is based on the Galamian's formula of playing three octave scales in order to get exactly 48 notes, 24 going up and 24 going down. (G major: Start g, b, a, g, a, b, c and so on and the same turn at the end). Evidently, 48 notes can be divided into 3, 4, 6, 8, 12 and 24 notes per bow, and you can also choose a rhythm formed by two eighth notes, four sixteenth notes and a sextuplet, totaling three quarter notes, i.e. 3/4 bars. You can then chose any pattern out of the following:

    246
    264
    426
    462
    624
    542

    These rhythmic sequences of the scale can be played 1) in one bow each twelve notes, 2) each note separately (in which case the eighth notes should be a whole bow - a dotted stroke, please - and the rest at the frog with little bow hair) and 3) slurred by quarter values, i.e. three whole bows up and three down. Once you get that straight, you start on the "mind-boggling" exercise, as one of Galamian's students has called the experience. These 6 rhythms can be slurred according to the following table, one note alone, three notes slurred and eight notes slurred (total always the same twelve notes), and the variants, as shown below:

    138Start (always down bow) at the frog
    318Start (always down bow) at the frog
    183Start (always down bow) at the point
    381Start (always down bow) at the point
    813Start (always down bow) at the frog
    831Start (always down bow) at the frog

    It is evident that the left hand shall have to play the scales and rhythms automatically if it wants to achieve the bowing patterns with the right hand, where all our attention is concentrated. This is precisely what we want to learn: The ability to concentrate our whole attention on one aspect of our work, whereas the other matters go automatically. Once achieved, everything will be easier because our subsconsciousness has learned to function with what we already dominate, allowing us to concentrate consciously on those aspects that require our attention. The blocking, which I mentioned before, will disappear. Our liberty to express ourselves freely has grown because we have managed to discharge many other matters to a newly created capacity for automatism.

    Of course there is a vast variety of methods to achieve the same end. But in my experience this system is one of the shortest ways to get the job done. I wish those who will try it the best of luck. They will not be sorry. As everything in life, nothing is given away. The exercise is not easy, but certainly not insuperable. Start with easy scales, and then gradually go to the more difficult ones.


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