Extending the baroque violin in the 21st Century

An exploration of new approaches and compositions for

baroque violin



Since around the middle of the 20th century, the baroque violin has been gradually rediscovered for use in early music performance. This research project is an investigation into the processes of developing and presenting new music for the baroque violin, drawing on my experience both as an early music baroque violinist and as a contemporary music modern violinist. This research project aims to uncover ways in which the baroque violin may be used to express 21st-century music.

This is presented in three volumes: Volume 1, this Exegesis, outlines the processes and outcomes of the project; Volume 2, an online Catalogue, details techniques and approaches to the baroque violin, for composers and interpreters, that may be used in 21st-century music; and Volume 3, recordings of three Recitals, each programmed to reflect on the significant stages of the research project.

The development of five new works for the baroque violin, written by Australian composers Jacob Abela, Biddy Connor, Vincent Giles, Paddy Mann, and Samuel Smith, is considered. These works are used both as a means for developing new techniques and approaches to the baroque violin, and as examples of the practical application of the baroque violin in this context. Three additional works, by Alexander Garsden, Natasha Anderson, and Liza Lim, are also discussed.

Through artistic research methodologies, drawing on interactions with composers and other performers, historical use of the baroque violin, and contemporary use of the modern violin, the approaches and techniques discussed in the Catalogue are developed and defined. The Recitals are presented to demonstrate the stages of the research project and the contemporary uses of the baroque violin that have been discovered and presented in the Catalogue.