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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Short Historical Overview and Comparison of the Pitch Width and Speed Rates of the Vibrato Used in Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin by Johann Sebastian Bach as Found in Recordings of Famous Violinists of the Twentieth and the Twenty-First Centuries
by Dimov, Tomislav, D.M.A., West Virginia University, 2010, 156; 3448239
Abstract (Summary)

This doctoral research project explores the use of violin vibrato present in recordings of the Six Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin, BWV 1001-1006 by Johann Sebastian Bach, made by forty prominent violinists during the last 100 years. It reports strictly on two of the most objectively measurable and characteristic parameters of the vibrato—its width and rate.

Forming an essential part of the violinist’s central repertory for more than a century, Bach’s cycle has received the highest levels of scholarly and artistic attention and the matter of vibrato has certainly been examined. However, to date there has been no systematic study of the characteristics of vibrato in these canonic works. This research project employs PRAAT software for sound spectrum analysis of samples taken from selected recordings, in order to generate objective information about two of the most important physical and acoustical characteristics of the vibrato in Bach’s works for solo violin. Specific notes were chosen to show, analyze and compare the use of vibrato in three different expressive musical contexts: dramatic, lyrical, and common.

The material for analysis is taken from recordings made by the following violinists: Lucy van Dael, Christiane Edinger, Georges Enesco, Garret Fischbach, Julia Fischer, Zino Francescatti, Gregory Fulkerson, Rudolf Gähler, Midori Goto, Artur Grimiaux, Ida Haendel, Hilary Hahn, Jascha Heifetz, John Holloway, Bronislaw Huberman, Joseph Joachim, Ilya Kaler, Nigel Kennedy, Gidon Kremer, Vanessa Mae, Yehudi Menuhin, Stefan Milenkovich [Milenković], Nathan Milstein, Shlomo Mintz, Benjamin Schmid, Victoria Mullova, Itzhak Perlmann, Rachel Podger, Michael Rabin, Ruggiero Ricci, Pablo de Sarasate, Jaap Schröder, Isaac Stern, Dmitry Sitkovetsky, Lara St. John, Josef Suk, Henryk Szeryng, Joseph Szigeti, Mela Tenenbaum, and Christian Tetzlaff.

The findings are presented in tables and graphics for comparison, sorted by the year of recording, and followed by a discussion of the results. Access to the sound samples/files is available through a virtual CD linked to the document via the Internet.

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Indexing (document details)
Advisor: McTeer, Mikylah Myers
School: West Virginia University
School Location: United States -- West Virginia
Source: DAI-A 72/05, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Music
Keywords: Bach, Johann Sebastian, Germany, Partita, Pitch width, Sonata, Vibrato, Violin
Publication Number: 3448239
ISBN: 978-1-124-54319-2
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