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The Use of Multiple Stops in Works for Solo Violin by Johann Paul Von Westhoff and Its Relationship to German Polyphonic Writing for a Single Instrument

Description: Johann Paul von Westhoff's (1656-1705) solo violin works, consisting of Suite pour le violon sans basse continue published in 1683 and Six Suites for Violin Solo in 1696, feature extensive use of multiple stops, which represents a German polyphonic style of the seventeenth-century instrumental music. However, the Six Suites had escaped the public's attention for nearly three hundred years until its rediscovery by the musicologist Peter VĂ¡rnai in the late twentieth century. This project will focus on polyphonic writing featured in the solo violin works by von Westhoff. In order to fully understand the stylistic traits of this less well-known collection, a brief summary of the composer, Johann Paul Westhoff, and an overview of the historical background of his time will be included in this document. I will analyze these works, including a comparison between the works of Westhoff and those of other composers during his time, to prove that Westhoff's solo works establish multiple stops as a central factor of German violin playing of the time, and, thus, to promote Westhoff's works as a complement to the extant repertoire of unaccompanied violin music written in the Baroque era before Johann Sebastian Bach's solo violin works and Georg Philipp Telemann's twelve fantasias for violin solo. Furthermore, this project will help one to better understand the use and function of multiple stops in the German violin repertoire in the seventeenth century
Date: May 2017
Creator: Gao, Beixi
Partner: UNT Libraries