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Giuseppe Tartini

Italian Baroque Composer & Violinist Giuseppe Tartini Born in 1692


Italian baroque composer, violinist and music theorist Giuseppe Tartini was born on April 8, 1692 in Pirano, Republic of Venice.

His musical training began at a young age studying the violin at collegio delle Scuole Pie in Capodistria. The initial intention of this training was that Tartini would eventually become a Franciscan Friar.

Resisting the clerical profession, Tartini went on to study law and divinity at Padua University in 1709. While at the university, he found himself drawn to both music, learning violin from Giulio di Terni, who, years later sought lessons from him. Tartini also studied under Bohuslav Matěj Ćernohorský while living in Assisi for a few years.

His various professional positions include as principal violinist of the Church of Saint Antonio (1721) and as the director of the Chancellor of Bohemia in Prague (1723-26). In 1726 he started his own successful violin school and composition in Padua, the Scuola di Nazioni, the schools fame became acknowledged around Europe. In 1740, Tartini also gave a concert tour of Italy, during the course of the tour he injured his arm which resulted in less performing and more time spent composing.

Tartini composed over 100 violin concertos, numerous sonatas, quartets, trios, symphonies and religious works. Of note is his most famous violin sonata, nicknamed the "The Devil’s Trill" Violin Sonata.

Also a music theorist, Tartini formulated principles of harmony and musical ornamentation. He disocvered  the difference tone, also called the 'Tartini tone', which is the third note heard when sustaining two notes steadily and with intensity (overtone). His changes to the bow (longer bow, thicker hair and a new control for legato) also became the standard for future violinists.

He died February 26, 1770 of gangrene, aged 77.



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