Method (music)

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In music, a method is a kind of textbook for a specified musical instrument or a selected problem of playing a certain instrument.

A method usually contains fingering charts or tablatures, etc., scales and numerous different exercises, sometimes also simple etudes, in different keys, in ascending order as to difficulty (= in methodical progression) or with a focus on isolated aspects like fluency, rhythm, dynamics, articulation and the like. Sometimes there are even recital pieces, also with accompaniment. Such methods differ from etude books in that they are meant as a linear course for a student to follow, with consistent guidance, whereas volumes of etudes are not as comprehensive.

As typical instrumental methods are meant to function as textbooks supporting an instrumental teacher (rather than to facilitate self-teaching), usually no basic or special playing techniques are covered in any depth. Detailed instructions in this respect are only found in special, autodidactical methods.

Some methods are especially tailored for students on certain skill levels or stages of psychosocial development. In contrast, a 'complete' method (sometimes in multiple volumes) is meant to accompany the student until he or she becomes an advanced player.

Methods of certain authors or editors have achieved the status of standard works (reflecting regional and cultural differences) and are published or reissued by different publishing companies and in divers (new) arrangements. The Suzuki Method is probably the most well known example of this.

The following is a list of various methods of historical interest.



See also: Flute method

















Mandolin or mandolin-banjo or banjolin[edit]

  • Edgar Bara. Méthode de Mandoline et Banjoline (1903). Still in print.
  • Giuseppe Bellenghi. Method for the mandolin in three parts (Pub in French, English, Italian, German), La ginnastica del mandolino, Ascending and descending major and minor scales in all positions for the mandolin
  • Giuseppe Branzoli. A Theoretical and practical method for the mandolin (1875, 2nd edition 1890)
  • Ferdinando de Cristofaro. Méthode de mandolin (Paris, 1884) English, French, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish versions
  • Giovanni Cifolelli. Method for the mandolin (date unknown, estimated 1760s)
  • Pietro Denis. Méthode pour apprendre à jouer de la mandoline sans Maître (1768, French)
  • George H. Hucke. Forty Progressive Studies for the Mandoline (London, 1893, English)
  • Carmine de Laurentiis. Method for the Mandolin (Milan, 1869)
  • Salvador Leonardi. Méthode pour Banjoline ou Mandoline-Banjo (1921, book has sections in English, French and Spanish)
  • Carlo Munier. Scuola del mandolino (1895)
  • Jean Pietrapertosa. Méthode de mandolin (1892) In French and English sections in same book
  • Janvier Pietrapertosa Fils Méthode de mandolin ou banjoline (1903)
  • Giuseppe Pettine. Pettine's Modern Mandolin School (c. 1900)
  • Silvio Ranieri. L'Art de la Mandoline in 4 Bänden, Die Kunst des Mandolinspiels, in 5 Sprachen (französich, deutsch, englisch, italienisch und holländisch)
  • Samuel Siegel. Special Mandolin Studies (1901).





See also[edit]