Giuseppe Tartini was born in Pirano, Istria, on April 8, 1692. At his father's wish he studied for the priesthood. In 1710 he entered Padua University as a law student, where he remained until 1713, when he secretly married a niece of Cardinal Cornaro, which led to accusations of abduction. Leaving his wife in Padua, Tartini took refuge in a monastery at Assisi, where he practiced the violin and studied music theory. Here he wrote the Trillo del diavolo (Devil's Trill), an attempt to reconstruct a sonata he said the devil had played to him in a dream. In 1714 he discovered the "resultant" tone, a means for improving intonation. While this tone cannot be heard on a modern violin, it is clearly audible on an old one with its smaller bass-bar and other fittings.
In 1715 the cardinal withdrew his objections to the marriage, and Tartini and his wife were reunited in Padua. In 1716 Tartini heard the violinist Francesco Maria Veracini in Venice and was so impressed with his playing that he sent his wife to relatives so that he could continue his studies in Ancona.
Although Tartini's Treatise on Music, which dealt mainly with acoustics, was published in Padua (1754), it had less of an impact upon performance than his unpublished Treatise on Ornamentation (ca. 1750), which circulated widely in manuscript. Whole sections of it were incorporated into Leopold Mozart's Violin School (1756) without any acknowledgment, and it was published in French as Treatise on the Ornaments of Music (1771).
Foto: ŽITKO, Duška: Giuseppe Tartini: 1692-1770 / Arhiv Pomorskega muzeja »Sergej Mašera« Piran.