Top of page

From Beginners to Virtuosi: Violin Music in the NLS Collection

Share this post:

Since Arcangelo Corelli’s 362nd birthday was just celebrated two days ago, I thought it a perfect time to talk about some of our violin music. Here at the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) Music Section, many of our patrons are pianists and vocalists, but many also play other instruments, including the violin! Although much of our music for violin is in braille, below are selections from each format we provide (large print, braille, and audio) for violinists or violin appreciators, from beginner to professional.

Violinist, full-length portrait with violin. Published between 1900 and 1912 by the Detroit Publishing Company.
Violinist, full-length portrait with violin. Published between 1900 and 1912 by the Detroit Publishing Company.

Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin, BWV 1001-1006 by J.S. Bach (Large print)

Bach’s six Sonatas and Partitas are some of his most well-known and revered works, and have become standard repertoire for violinists. This particular version has been transcribed through the Sigma Alpha Iota Fraternity’s Bold Note project, which we had discussed in an earlier blog post here. These solos can be ordered with book number LPM 00541-00542.

Intro to the Violin for the Visually Impaired by Bill Brown (Digital Talking Book)

Like many of the other Bill Brown audio courses that we lend to patrons, the Intro to the Violin for the Visually Impaired is geared towards the beginner violinist who is looking to get a good, solid foundation on the instrument. By the end of this audio course, students will be able to play such classic tunes as Eidelweiss (from Sound of Music) and Over the Rainbow, without the need of sheet music. This title can be found at DBM 02631.

 Suzuki Violin Method (braille)

The Suzuki Method is famous worldwide for teaching younger students the basics of violin playing (as well as instruction on many other instruments). The Suzuki method for violin is available from our collection in multiple braille volumes. Volumes 1 and 2 of this title can be found in our collection at BRM 34557 and BRM 34559.

24 Caprices for Solo Violin, op. 1 by Niccolò Paganini (braille)

In the realm of showpieces for violinists, Paginini’s 24 Caprices is pretty much the standard. This virtuosic work (written by one of the most well-known and prodigious violinists of the 19th century, Niccolò Paganini), is compiled of 24 shorter solo pieces that each focus on technical skills for advanced violinists. This piece is found in our collection at BRM 26116

A painting (still-life) of a violin with sheet music and accessories
Still Life with Violin [n.d.]
Maxim Vengerov at the Royal Academy of Music (Digital Talking Book)

Maxim Vengerov is a violinist and the Menuhin Professor of Music the Royal Academy of Music. In a series of masterclasses from the Masterclass Media Foundation, violin students from the Royal Academy of Music in London play famous solos for violin, such as Pablo de Sarasate’s Carmen Fantasy, Sibelius’s violin concerto, Benjamin Britten’s violin concerto, and many more. These masterclasses (six in all) can be found at DBM 03676-03678 & DBM 03661-03663

As you can see, the Music Section has materials for all levels of violinists, from beginners, to professionals, as well as appreciators. The above items are just a few of the many great violin works and other violin-related materials we have, so get in touch with us and order some music today!

Are you a violinist or are you familiar with any of the pieces mentioned here? We’d love to hear your thoughts and comments on our collection!

Comments (2)

  1. I am a blind Brazilian learning how to play the violin. I have reached the end of the susuki boook two, and wanted to start learning braille music. I have seen that you have the susuki books in braille and some other materials as well. Is it possible to have access to them? I have friends in the US that could bring them to brazil for me in case this is possible.

    • Thank you for reading our blog and commenting. To benefit other readers who may have a similar question or live abroad, here I would like to briefly mention the requirements to receive music from NLS. For individuals residing here in the United States, they must first be registered with a cooperating National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped library in their state of residence. To receive services abroad, an individual must be a U.S. citizen and registered with NLS’s overseas librarian.

      However, we are currently working on a project that makes extra scores we have in our collection available to people who are not typically eligible for our services (i.e., foreign citizens who live abroad). You can find out more about that project here. Please visit this link to view the currently available titles. At this moment, we do not have any violin titles to send out, but please check back, as this list will be periodically updated.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *