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After Paganini and his Caprices (as well as his concerts, obviously for the soloist part), the violin wasn't the same anymore: Paganini, besides launching an original new way of performing the violin, operated a synthesis between the Ancient and the Romantic styles, going beyond and anticipating our days as well. He started with the musical instruments he knew, like the mandolin (which he studied in his youth), the guitar (the six-chord one, which he never left), the grand viola (the five-chord instrument he had specially made) and the violin. He chose the mixed form of the Caprice, so that he could be free to use counterpoint, harmony, singability (from his knowledge of the Opera), imitation and, most importantly, rhythmic and tonal variety. From the Caprices we understand Paganini's familiarity with Rossini, his deep knowledge of the Opera and of it's world, and with Berlioz. Many Caprices take inspiration from a range of orchestral sounds (the flute, the horns, the fanfare) or imitate the mandolin. From a melody perspective, the Caprices astonish for their uniqueness and beauty. From the point of view of the harmonics, they mesmerize: they are masterpieces and Schumann was among the first ones to recognize them as such.