String players face a bewildering array of terms related to their instruments. Because string playing is a living art form, passed directly from master to student, the words used to convey complex concepts such as bow techniques and fingering systems have developed into an extensive vocabulary that can be complicated, vague, and even contradictory. Many of these terms are derived from French, Italian, or German, yet few appear in any standard music dictionary. Moreover, the gulf separating classical playing from fiddle, bluegrass, jazz, and other genres has generated style-specific terms rarely codified into any reference work. All Things Strings: An Illustrated Dictionary bridges this gap, serving as the only comprehensive resource for the terminology used by the modern string family of instruments. All of the terms pertaining to violin, viola, cello, and double bass, inclusive of all genres and playing styles, are defined, explained, and illustrated in a single text.
Entries include techniques from shifting to fingerboard mapping to thumb position; the entire gamut of bowstrokes; terms found in orchestral parts; instrument structure and repair; accessories and equipment; ornaments (including those used in jazz and bluegrass); explanations of various bow holds; conventions of orchestral playing; and types of strings, as well as information on a select number of famous luthiers, influential pedagogues, and legendary performers. All Thing Strings is expertly illustrated with original drawings by T. M. Larsen and musical examples from the standard literature. Appendixes include an extensive bibliography of recommended reading for string players and a detailed chart of bowstrokes showing notation and explaining execution.
As the single best source for understanding string instruments and referencing all necessary terminology, All Things Strings is an essential tool for performers, private teachers, college professors, and students at all levels. It is also an invaluable addition to the libraries of orchestra directors and composers wishing to better understand the complexities of string playing. With the inclusion of terms relevant to all four modern string instruments played in all genres—from jazz to bluegrass to historically informed performance—this resource serves the needs of every string musician.