Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





Scott Burnham

Committee Members

Daniel Phillips

Marcy Rosen

Yiheng Yang


Mozart, Violin, Pedagogy, Beethoven, Sonata, Historical Performance


This study examines the evolving use of the violin bow during the late galant and Classical era (1776-1812) by means of several violin sonatas by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Ludwig van Beethoven (K. 305, K. 454. Op. 12, No. 1, Op. 96). An analysis of bow articulations supplemented with annotated music examples is provided for these works, as well as information on the bow innovations and French violin school pedagogy at the turn of the 19th century. Understanding the style of bowing during the late 18th century and turn of the 19th century can help inform a modern performer of the sound ideals during this time. Studying the technological innovations of the bow coupled with the ways that Mozart and Beethoven might have understood these innovations, allows performers to have a clearer picture of the compositional aims and articulation methods for the instrument. The move towards the ideals of cantabile and bel canto shifts the aesthetic trend of bowing towards seamless bow changes, sostenuto sound, and other intricate and nuanced bow techniques. These composers advanced the violin sonata genre, and their understanding of bow technique and innovations is made evident by comparing an early and later work of the same genre.

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