January 30, 2011 – Josephine Trott Melodious Double-Stops

Melodious Double Stops by Josephine Trott is an etude book of 30 relatively short double stop etudes.

  • They begin with very simple exercises that use open strings and one fingered note. Exercises numbers 1 through 8 use can be categorized in this group.
  • Beginning with exercises number 9, the player will use two fingered notes with the higher finger number on a higher string.
  • After exercise 10, most etudes are a full page long.
  • Exercise 11 begins to include thirds fingered with 1 and 3.
  • Exercise 13 includes a held note on one string and moving notes on another.
  • Exercise 14 begins to include fourths fingered with 2 and 1 and fifths with first finger.
  • Exercise 15 slurs two double stops that cross strings.
  • Exercise 16 crosses strings between high and low single notes and double stops. This is very good practice for transferring weight.
  • Exercise 17 is very similar to 13 with more complex notes requiring more finger independence when one note is held and the other moves.
  • As the exercises progress, they become more complex and in a greater variety of key signatures.

I have found all of these etudes I have played to be quite pleasing to the ear. It should not be underestimated how much bow control is necessary for students to achieve proper tone in double stops. These exercises are a great supplement to a double stop passage such as those in the Seitz, Accolay, and DeBeriot concertos.

Josephine Trott also composed a piece called The Puppet Show found in the Barbara Barber Solos for Young Violinists Volume 1. Despite extensive research I was only able to find one biographical note about Josephine Trott. She was apparently a violin teacher in the early twentieth century. I could not find much else about her.  Another publication entitled “Easy and Progressive Duets” by Trott is available by Prairie Dawg Press in an edition by Cora Cooper of Kansas Statue University.

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