The Violin

A Social History of the World's Most Versatile Instrument

by David Schoenbaum

The Violin

Hardcover, 710 pages, W W Norton & Co Inc, List Price: $39.95 | purchase


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Book Summary

Traces the history of the instrument, from its first appearance in the mid-sixteenth century to its modern use by artists, writers, and Hollywood and discusses how the affordable, portable instrument can be used to play Beethoven, jazz, and indie rock.

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Written by a professional historian who's also a lifelong amateur player, The Violin is the product of author David Schoenbaum's ambitious, if unstated, goal: to use the fiddle as a lens through which he can closely examine topics ranging from the machinations of international geopolitics to the vagaries of modern classical music marketing.

Indeed, Schoenbaum covers so much terrain over 700-plus pages — from a discourse on the market forces at play in 17th-century northern

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