an incomplete history of the art of funerary violin

an incomplete history of the art of funerary violin

by Rohan kriwaczek

  • Hardcover: 210 pages
  • Publisher: Gerald Duckworth & Co Ltd; illustrated edition edition (28 Sep 2006)
  • Language English
  • ISBN-10: 0715636049
  • ISBN-13: 978-0715636046
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 15 x 2.2 cm
  • Black and White with many illstrations


It is only by staring Death in the face that you can truly say you have known Life; it is only by losing that which you hold most dear that you can truly say you have known Love; such is the Art of the Funerary Violinist.

From its origins in the Elizabethan Protestant Reformation, to its final extinction amidst the guns of the First World War, the art of Funerary Violin was characterized by many unique and frequently misunderstood qualities that set it apart from all other forms of music. Despite its enormous influence on classical music generally and on the Romantic Movement in particular, this music has almost entirely vanished. In a series of ‘funerary purges’, the art of funerary violin was condemned as ‘the music of the devil’ and the Guild of Funerary Violinists driven into silence or clandestine activity. This is the music that, despite all attempts at suppression, has haunted Europe’s collective unconscious for more than a century. Now Rohan Kriwaczek reveals its incredible history. Painstakingly pieced together from a handful of fragments and unsubstantiated and frequently unspoken rumours, and making use of a number of extraordinary recent discoveries, An Incomplete History of the Art of Funerary Violin celebrates a unique musical tradition that refuses to die.

'The Art of the Funerary Violin is a fascinating work in its own right, an unorthodox alternative history novel filled with left-field characters and quirky details.' - Sydney Morning Herald

‘This truly is a bizarre book’ – The New Statesman

'In seinen besten momenten streift dieses scurrile und sehr britische Buch den Humor von Sternes „Tristrum Shandy” oder Boswells „Dr. Johnson”.’ - Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung


  1. Read the Forword
  2. Read an extract from the Introduction
  3. Read Charles Sudbury's account of a Funerary Duel
  4. Read Wilhelm Kleinbach - the Last of the Practicing Funerary Violin
  5. Read the Funerary Violinist Today


To purchase a copy signed by Rohan Kriwaczek, author and Acting President of the Guild of Funerary Violinists, and stamped with the official Guild of Funerary Violinists stamp for only £24, plus £1 postage worldwide, click below

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Will all patrons please remain seated
Whilst I belittle myself to amuse you
For I've tried pretty metaphors and sensitive rhymes
But the effort just seemed to confuse you
Rev. Rohan K.

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