https://www.vsl.co.at/en/Playing_Techniques-Right_Hand/Violin-Ricochet image It is basically playing all 4 strings consecutively creating an "undulation". HOWEVER, not in the staccato slurred style, just the slur (not staccato i.e. not ricochet bowing)

  • As written it could be spiccato, sautille or saltato/saltando. Written without the staccato-dots it's just legato. Oct 20, 2020 at 13:37
  • In case my answer isn’t clear on this, notation isn’t generally how we would specify a technique, because sometimes different techniques might be chosen by different players to render the same notation. Technique questions would ideally be accompanied by audio or even better, video of a player performing the technique in question. Oct 20, 2020 at 13:56
  • @user71207 Please explain. Why have you written staccatos if you don't want staccato? What are you trying to do? Oct 20, 2020 at 16:08
  • @OldBrixtonian I don’t think the asker wrote that music but what is written there is “play each group of notes under a slur with one bow stroke but also articulate each note”. The “staccato” dot does not only indicate stacccato, as in this case. Oct 20, 2020 at 16:57

3 Answers 3


To be precise, the notation generally doesn’t (and shouldn’t) specify an exact technique. The notation should specify an intended sound and the player(s) would determine which technique is best to create the sound based on the context.

Modern notation style and interpretation of the quoted passage is that each group of four notes is to be played with a single bow stroke (the slur) but the notes should also be articulated separately (the staccato dots). This is a bit of a challenge because the most common way to re-articulate on a string instrument is to reverse the bow.

One way to render this, especially at high tempos, is to basically bounce the bow off the strings while performing a single up or down bow. This technique is called saltato and if I’m reading it correctly (I don’t know how to play this technique) it is somewhat analogous to how a drummer bounces a stick from a drum head during a two or three stroke roll.

A composer can attempt to specify an exact technique in a score, but unless the composer is an expert on the instrument in question and/or consults with players, it’s often best to specify the desired sound and let the players do what they do best. This is one danger of using sample libraries for mock-ups: the composer could get lost in the weeds about the different samples articulations as opposed to focusing on the end result they desire.


It is basically playing all 4 strings consecutively creating an "undulation". HOWEVER, not in the staccato slurred style, just the slur (not staccato ie not ricochet bowing)

It is called "arpeggio" whether it is staccato or legato or whatever articulation is indicated. It can also be done over 3 strings.

Here are two examples from famous violin pieces by Bach and Paganini:

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it's called portato, accent the attack of each slurred note within a single bow stroke. Here is an example:

  • You have misunderstood the question. The bow stroke he is asking about is called arpeggio. See my answer. Sep 9, 2022 at 20:16

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