inner violin and posture

The musician’s inner vibration is transmitted to the instrument-amplifier from his body posture, through the embouchure of the woodwind player, through the lips of the trumpet player, through the clavicle (not embarrassed by a cushion which inhibits the vibration) of the violinist, through the pianist’s fingers.

Such a transmitter must be as little constrained as possible, to free the optimal resonance of the instrument : for instance, it is embodied by the flexible embouchure of a well-grounded sax player’s body, holding his well-balanced saxophone so that the reed fully vibrates.


It is a pity to spend a life of toil and research ignoring that all difficulties with the sound, the disjointed hand, vibrato, hopped, staccato, etc… are nearing resolution as soon as the perfect balance of the body is achieved.


What matters is the overall balance of the body, the general feeling experienced within your body, and not an isolated gesture or detail, observed from the outside.


When the momentum and the opposition forces are fully developed, there can be no tightening and no exaggerated support, no more than voluntary effort to hold the instrument.


No motion of your head should go and pick up the violin as if it were an object outside the body ; it does come to your body without changing your posture for all that.


The purpose of consciously non-holding the instrument is to totally free the sensitivity of your fingers, which you feel as talking and “telling“ the music directly out of our mouth.


(…) you must always understand that every action involves your whole body, through its static as well as dynamic behavior.


Our whole energy actually arises from our center of gravity : it is located at the level of the third lumbar vertebra, area that eastern people call « hara ».


It is essential that the supporting muscles – especially those located in your back – fully play their part, freeing your arms ends from overload, providing them with the necessary independence and lightness and giving to your arms a flexibility unknown before.


(…) such a freedom is available only when technical problems are mastered, when you develop a full confidence in the result, and especially when the musical flow spreads through your body, without finding any obstacle by any constraint or unwanted tension.


For the artist, relaxation is an absolute necessity.


Dominique Hoppenot , Le violon intérieur
(translated by Guy Robert)

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