At the end of Scherzo-Tarantelle (and also at the end of the first presto), there is a chord with three normal notes, and the fourth is an artificial harmonic. I know the harmonic works, because I tried it separately. Each time I play the chord, the fourth note, the harmonic, just won't work. It produces strange sounds (Edit: I checked the note, it is one octave lower than the desired sound), as if the chord's other notes' resonance disturbed the harmonic. And each time, I keep my hands still, and try the harmonic separately, it works. So is there a way to be able to play it with the chord or am I doing something wrong? Wieniawski's "Scherzo-Tarantelle", op. 16, end of the first Presto

  • I make that 4 normal notes and a C harmonic. On 4 violin strings? What am I not getting? – Tim Nov 20 '20 at 12:18
  • Actually, I don't recall hearing that harmonic in any of the recordings I've heard of this piece (assuming you mean the Wieniawski one). – Dekkadeci Nov 20 '20 at 12:54
  • @Tim The notation means to hold down the solid note (the G) and lightly touch at the place where one would play the hollow note (i.e. at a fourth above where one is holding down). This produces a harmonic two octaves above the held note, since the division of a string corresponding to playing the higher note is to reduce the string's length to 3/4; so one is generating the harmonic at 1/4 the string length. – Judy N. Nov 20 '20 at 13:13
  • And each time I do it (just to clarify more), it makes a sound one octave lower, and the sound resonates strangely. – TheOwl Nov 20 '20 at 13:48

One way to play it that might make it easier is to split this chord in two bows: the first 4 notes in a down-bow (G-D-Bb-G) and then do an up-bow to play the harmonic. Check for example minute 5:26 of this video (at speed x0.5 for best observation):


As normal, you play the lower two strings open. You then play the Bb on the A string. On the E string though, you hold down the note G while lightly placing your 4th finger where C would be creating that false harmonic.

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