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39

It actually has to do with the physics of sound production for the bowed string instruments. The sound is produced on the viol family of instruments by the string "slipping across" the bow. That is, the bow catches (by friction) the string, displaces it a certain distance, until the restorative force from the tension in the string overcomes the friction ...


28

Beside Willie Wong's nice answer, a double-bass player needs more pressure on the bow than a violin player. The longer the distance between your hand and the tip of the bow, the greater the force your wrist would need to apply. In other words, playing the double-bass with a bow as long as a violin's may require too much wrist strength for playing with the ...


7

I understand your frustration. The pegs behavior is related with different factors. Most usual factors are: - weather changes (humid/dry weather); - bad adjustment between peg and peg hole; - when the pegs are long periods without being adjusted (because of use of fine-tuners or because the instrument is not played often). Some advices: If the peg ...


7

A few years ago I asked this exact question to the archetier who made my bow. According to him, bow weight and flexibility are the things to have in mind when having a bow built. These are the things that make a difference in a bow. Now about it being round or octagonal, it was a purely aesthetic decision. The bow can be heavier or lighter, jumpy or ...


6

Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber (1644-1704): La Battalia Sinfonia (1673) From program notes: La Battalia was written very much in the style of the day, but even these centuries later sounds rather modern, especially because of Biber’s use of percussive effects in the string writing. The work, which is in short movements, was written in 1673 in the fading ...


6

When you draw a bow across the strings, you are imparting energy into the combined physical system of the violin and the bow. What you want is for as much of that energy as possible to be transmitted to the strings, which transmit it to the bridge, which transmit it into the violin and then out to the air. Like anything else, a bow isn't 100% efficient; ...


5

I am not positive about this, but I think cutting the bow as an octagonal might make the bow a little bit stiffer. So bow makers might do it if they feel that particular cut of wood could benefit from a little more stiffness. However, as I said, I am not sure about this. As far as which to select, I think there is no reason to chose one or the other. The ...


5

This seems to be shorthand for the number of instruments it's written for - unfortunately there doesn't seem to be a standard, and each publisher uses it's own notation. According to Wikipedia, the strings notation 2.1.2.1.1 means 2 first violins 1 second violin 2 violas 1 cello 1 double bass


4

Essentially, the hair is held in place at both ends of the bow by wooden wedges. To change the hair, you need to gently remove the old wedges and cut new ones, then push the hair back into place under the new wedge. No glue is used at all. The length of the hair doesn't need to be super accurate because the bow is obviously adjusted with the tightening ...


4

This method of notation is in fact short hand. It saves on space and time both for the person putting the information down, and for the person reading. It is true that there is no critically-accepted standard, but there are general guidelines that composers follow when they use that shorthand method; which I will outline below: Typically, dashes are used ...


4

I've done the following on many bows. Never damaged any bow. Water mixed with some detergent, in a mug or bowl. Unscrew and remove the nut. bring the nut near tip. Ask someone to hold the bow stick in one hand and the nut in other hand, so the bow hair hangs like a U. Tricky part: Dip parts of bow hair in the soap-water. Rub the wet bow hair along its ...


4

It's definitely not the water that damaged the bow hairs. If it was the water, it probably just wasn't thorough enough, and ended up just making the hair sticky instead. You can wash it in soap water, or better yet, horse hair shampoo. Bow hair is horse hair, after all. Just be sure to wash off the soap/shampoo really really well, or the rosin won't stick. ...


3

Getting everyone "on the same page" is probably not the best option in this situation--it would probably end up being stifling and uninteresting for those with more aptitude, or the less advanced students would end up getting left in the dust. If all of the students are self-motivated, then keeping each person moving at their optimal pace (whatever that may ...


3

The answer to this question is related / depends on each instrument/player. One thing you didn't mention and is important is that heavier strings might make more tension and stress on the violins neck/fingerboard. Trying to address your questions: Yes. But this change is bigger between different brands than different gauge on same brand. Depends. If you ...


2

I'm going with my standard "de gustibus non disputandam" here. Yes, heavier gauge may lead to some finger stress, but proper technique will obviate that concern. Try different strings and see which ones respond most easily to your personal bowing speed & pressure. See if you can hear a difference in the sound -- and have an observer listen as well, ...


2

Thicker strings (aka higher gauge strings) do exert higher tension on the instrument. on a violin they will do this in two primary directions, one is is pulling the neck toward the tail piece, and the other is putting more pressure on the bridge. I don't think having higher gauge strings will make much of a difference, but you should make sure of two ...


1

If you have a high-quality instrument, heavy strings shouldn't damage it. If your instrument is made out of cardboard or you're stringing it with steel power cables, things aren't so certain. Just don't do anything ridiculous; going up a gauge or two won't exceed the parameters of a decent instrument.


1

The last movement of Berlioz' Symphonie Fantastique (1827) has a part where the violins play col legno. (Berlioz was also one of the first composers to write for saxophone.) I once saw a student string quartet play a Mozart piece entirely col legno. They used pencil-sized sticks instead of their bows. I don't know how Mozart notated it.



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