Pedro de Alcantara's The Integrated String Player : Embodied Vibration
is a practical guide for all string players: violinists and violists, cellists and bassists, but also gamba players and anyone who makes music drawing a bow across a string. Dozens of exercises, supported by a dedicated website with 80 video clips, cover all the basics of string playing, including left-hand articulation, vibrato, changes of position, double-stopping, sound production, string crossings, and many other techniques. Each exercise, however simple or complex, can become a meditation with the goal of integrating the musical, technical, and metaphysical aspects of a player's practice.
Part I is devoted to the fundamentals of coordination, rhythm, and listening in depth. Part II focuses on the left hand, with an emphasis on healthy gestures that are charged with musicality and meaning. Part III covers the bowing arm, exploring innovative concepts such as expressive gesticulation, mechanical intelligence, and the use of the bow as the player's voice, both literally and symbolically. Part IV covers the integration of analytical thought and sensorial practice, providing an extensive study of the harmonic series, the circle of fifths, Tartini tones, and many other sonic aspects that are essential to a string player's musical freedom. In addition, the conversational, linguistic, compositional, and improvisatory dimensions of string playing are discussed and supported by multiple practical exercises.
The Integrated String Player is addressed to players of all abilities and from all aesthetic backgrounds: students and professionals, teachers and performers, classically trained musicians and jazz players, chamber-music players and orchestral players.