Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)



Document Type



As we reach the end of the second decade of the 21st century, the performance of contemporary music is not a novelty in any concert hall. American orchestras frequently include contemporary works in their programs, and music schools offer specialized classes, ensembles, and even full degrees dedicated to contemporary music. However, for the violin, there are very few resources explaining extended techniques and other recent aesthetic innovations in a didactic manner. Most of the available material is directed at the advanced student or professional player. On the other hand, traditional instructional material often barely glosses over the 20th century repertoire, and virtually ignores the past 50 years of music history. This leaves young violinists unprepared for (and sometimes even unaware of) the challenges of contemporary violin music.

This dissertation intends to be a resource on didactic material on the subject of violin extended techniques, directed at intermediate violin players. The objective of this material is to aid teachers in the elaboration of introductory lessons on subjects related to contemporary music. The discussion is centered in techniques that relate immediately to basic violin instruction, namely: left hand patterns, contractions and extensions, shifting, glissando, microtonality, vibrato, trills and tremolo, harmonics, changing dynamics, changing tone color, sul ponticello, sul tasto, bow pressure, pizzicato, and col legno battuto and col legno tratto. For each technique, this dissertation presents a definition and explanation from the point of view of the mechanics of violin playing, suggests exercises, and provides accessible related excerpts of music of the 20th and 21st centuries for classroom use.



Committee Chair

Lilleslatten, Espen