Houston, TX 77005
1:00 p.m. Monday, Nov. 5, 2012
The majority of standard solo repertoire that violists perform was written in the 20th century, but the pedagogical materials violists study are largely transcriptions of violin etudes, studies, and scales, which were all written in the 19th century or earlier. Music written in the 20th century uses a language and techniques that are quite different from those found in older, tonal music. Because of this, violists are often unprepared for the challenges of their standard solo repertoire, and the pedagogical materials they study do not fulfill their purpose: to educate students in the skills necessary for successful musical performance. The first part of this document is historical, attempting to explain how the viola has arrived in the early 21st century without its own unique body of pedagogical materials suited to the standard viola repertoire. The second part of this document is practical: it proposes a pedagogy for the viola that meets the needs of students in preparation for the standard music we all study. This part of the document uses an extensive number of musical examples from the standard repertoire to illustrate how the various etudes, studies, exercises, and scales presented can be used to help students in tackling the challenges of 20th-century music more successfully.