home   biography   books   concerts   courses   gardens of eloquence   instruments for sale   rhetoric   viola   contact


NEW! Handel’s Messiah, a rhetorical guide. Available from Corda Music Publications or Amazon Marketplace seller Punnett Press £30 + p&p
See reviews below

Baroque String Playing ‘for ingenious learners’ (includes CD of The Parley of Instruments) £30 plus p&p
REVISED EDITION 2013 now available from Amazon Marketplace (seller Punnett Press) or
See reviews below

The Weapons of Rhetoric, a guide for musicians and audiences £25 plus p&p
See reviews below

Speaking With Quintilian, Text, Voice, Performance, by Judy Tarling with Jane Oakshott (voice) order from Amazon Marketplace.

If you are reading this outside the UK, it is worth knowing that it will be cheaper and probably quicker to order Baroque String Playing and Weapons of Rhetoric directly from Corda Music Publications, even though you will have to pay postage. You can pay by credit card. Book and music shops outside the UK add quite a large mark up to the cover price, even though they get these books at a preferential wholesale price.

On Amazon Marketplace, Judy sells under the name ‘Punnett Press’ and is usually the cheapest.

Read Judy about playing Baroque music on modern instruments in July 2009 Strad. Compiled from interviews with string players Steven Isserlis, Roger Chase, Elizabeth Wallfisch, Sebastian Comberti and others.

Reviews - Handel’s Messiah: a Rhetorical Guid.

This book examining the rhetorical background of Messiah seeks to shed light on the performance of Messiah through an exploration of the rhetoric contained within it. It builds well on the author’s previous books, Baroque String Playing for Ingenious Learners (St. Albans, 2000), a guide to historical source material on playing bowed string instruments, and The Weapons of Rhetoric (St. Albans, 2004), which is designed to teach today’s audiences and performers an understanding of the rhetorical style as it would have been understood by eighteenth-century audiences....Part One is divided into six sections. Of these, the strongest and most convincing are those titled ‘Figures of Rhetoric’, ‘Exclamations and Questions’, and ‘Decorum – Choice of Means’. These sections all place a strong emphasis on rhetoric, and it is in this field that the author is at her best. ‘Figures of Rhetoric’, in particular, carries a unique exposition and explanation of the huge number of rhetorical devices (all named and explained) incorporated by Jennens into the text and exploited in various imaginative ways by Handel in the music. Similarly ‘Exclamations and Questions’, though brief, also has its basis in the exposition of rhetoric within the work. ... The sections on ‘Decorum – Tone of Voice’, ‘Emphasis’, ‘Dynamics’, ‘Tempo’, ‘Rhythm’, and ‘Silence’ are each interesting in their own right and, as with the more successful sections of Part One, all of these sections in Part Two have their basis in the explanation of rhetorical terms, accompanied by musical examples and a discussion of how rhetoric should affect the performance of such examples. Of use to today’s performers (the author’s stated target audience), these sections also show Tarling’s strengths as a writer. Each rhetorical term and device is explained clearly and intelligibly, and the examples are discussed in such a way as to suggest, rather than dictate, how they might impact performance. This has the benefit of leading the reader to consider, rather than blindly follow, the author’s ideas, which, in turn, should lead to a greater understanding of the arguments behind such ideas.
Review by Amanda Babington, Fontes Artis Musicae 62/2

Reviews – Baroque String Playing

‘A really remarkable book which combines a huge range of scholarly information with being delightfully readable and entertaining ... how to achieve expressiveness within a suitable historical style ... here is every baroque player’s companion. Irresistible ... well beyond the value of the price.’
News and Views (European String Teachers’ Association)

‘... indispensable. A practical, comprehensive yet easily accessible guide from someone with a wealth of experience of baroque performance ... a valuable source of reference both for the string player new to baroque style and performance and for the experienced.’
Early Music Review

‘She aims to re-launch a spirit of discovery in historical performance, while recognising that theorists’ rules should never obscure artistry, taste and musical intelligence ... A stimulating, rounded and thoroughly readable book, which should inspire ‘period’ players to re-examine their approach to historical performance’.
The Strad

‘An ideal treatise not only for baroque bowing but for so many other facets of baroque practice which I have hardly ever seen in books on the subject.’
Sir Charles Mackerras

Reviews – The Weapons of Rhetoric

‘A most exciting and important document ... this is a truly fascinating book researched and written in all humility by a performer exploring a long neglected subject. I can imagine that it may appeal to the avid concert goer as well as to the committed performer, for it provides a code to what one hears and a context within which to listen.’
‘Very approachable, with amusing drawings and instructive illustrations’.
News and Views (European String Teachers’ Association)

‘The Weapons of Rhetoric is an invaluable resource for any musician wanting to study the essential ingrediants of an effective performance of Baroque music. It may well be the most useful and intriguing book on Baroque performance practice ever written’.
Early Music America

‘Serious performers and listeners should read it ... whether because of rhetorical theory or Judy’s musical common sense, you’ll learn a lot about performance, as any who have heard her teaching will expect’.
Early Music Review

‘This is a book by a musician, for all musicians, especially those who aspire to be better ones’.
Bach Notes (London Bach Society)

‘...the quotations are woven into a coherent narrative that provides the necessary context. Not only has Tarling read very widely and with a scholarly mentality, but also the liveliness of her interest is constantly in evidence in many informative comments by the way, nourished by a reading that extends well beyond the central literary sources, to Frances Yates on memory, Michael Baxendale on gesture in Renaissance painting, and much else ...The value of Tarling’s work is that her aim is fundamentally a practical one, getting beyond the usual categorizations and drawing on her experience as a performer ... The approach from practice is much rarer than that from analysis, and, although distinguished performers have often commented on the need for understanding rhetoric, this has not until now been backed up with such comprehensive theoretical background and specific detail ... For its comprehensive nature, scholarly interest, and particularly for its practical insights this is a book from which performers should learn a very great deal of value’.
David Ledbetter writing in Early Music, May 2005