EBay is a wonderful resource for a bibliophile. I have boxes of books showing up at my house on a regular basis, and occassionally I find a real gem.

Having only recently taken up violin (fiddle, actually, but let's not quibble), I was searching for some basic classbooks for violin pedagogy and drills. Match that with my odd penchant for buying books from the late 19th century, and I found a wonderful set of lessons for violin from the turn of the century.

These are a year-long collection of correspondence lessons for violin. Approximately once every two weeks, the student received a set of pages that they added in to their "Kinsey's Gummed Binder." The lessons themselves were carefully mimeographed or carbon-copied sheets, and were pasted into the binder as the lessons progressed.

The class is actually a good introduction to the study of the violin, and I've included it here in its entirety. The original class was printed in 1905-1907, and the original copyright holder was The American Music Company. According to my searches, since this was originally copyrighted before 1923, it appears to be in the public domain. I am printing it here with that assumption.

The classes contain not only written instructions, but musical exercises as well. Since the original book is a bit ratty, I've transcribed most of the pieces into the ABC music language, which is a text representation of music that can be "reconstituted" using any number of software packages into readable music. See Chris Walsh's ABC Music Pages for information on these programs and how the ABC language works. However, since some people might be interested in the originals, I've scanned most lessons in jpg format, and provided a pdf file where possible.

The buttons at the top of each page will link to these versions of the music when available. The icons are as follows:

scanned version of the music
ABC text file
Adobe Acrobat file


© 2003 R. Fingerson
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