Important book!

Lois Shepheard said: Oct 6, 2015
 13 posts

Have you seen this? This is a book that deserves to be read. (Available at Amazon.)

‘Not by Love Alone:   The Violin in Japan 1850 – 2010′

by Margaret Mehl,

Associate Professor at the University of Copenhagen.

(Published by The Sound Book Press Copenhagen, 2014.)

‘Not by Love Alone’ is a scholarly and important work written after Mehl’s many years’ research into the history of the violin and violin playing in Japan. Her study was sustained by Danish Universities, the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, the Cross-Cultural Society and Regional Studies at the University of Copenhagen, the University of Princeton in the US and the Waseda University in Japan.   

Mehl names many violinists who studied with German teachers in Japan and who travelled to study in Germany from the late 1880s. She documents how Japanese violinists revolutionised violin teaching, won international competitions, studied at world-famous conservatories and took up leading orchestral positions—and all within a few decades of Japan’s introduction to western music. If we have ever thought it remarkable that Shinichi Suzuki went to study in Germany, this book will clarify this event. For the first time too, I read that one of Shinichi’s brothers, ‘cellist Fumio, also studied in Germany, in Leipzig—with Julius Klengel (1859-1933).

Mehl explains the cultural affinity which existed between Japan and Germany as early as the 1880s, and how in 1890 the German-Japanese Society was founded in Berlin. In 1938 the two countries concluded a cultural treaty, intending to create a framework for cultural exchange.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Here is the answer to many of our questions.

NOW OUTby Margaret Mehl:Not by Love Alone: The Violin in Japan, 1850 – 2010.A history of the violin’s place in the musical culture of Japan from the opening of Japan to the West to the start of the third millennium. For details please

See book video at

Erin Rushforth said: Oct 30, 2015
Erin RushforthInstitute Director
Suzuki Association Member
San Antonio, TX
22 posts

Sounds interesting!

Gloria said: Nov 1, 2015
Suzuki Association Member
75 posts

Unfortunately it is not available through the public library system, and it is rather pricey. I would love to read it, though.

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