I'm new here but I cannot find anywhere on the internet what this musical term means; "fouettez en tirant". It appears in Viotti's Concerto in A Minor No.22 in the third movement; Agitato Assai.

I tried using Google Translate but I ended up with "whisk pulling" which makes no sense.

Here is an image of the term being used on the music sheet:


  • After looking at translate.google.com, my guess is same as "ricochet" . Dunno what's wrong with your translator :-) but mine said "whip pulling" . Sep 15, 2017 at 10:57
  • @CarlWitthoft both "whip" and "whisk" are said "fouet" ("fouetter" for the verb) in french -- can't help you any further because I'm a native French but not a violin player :)
    – Quentin
    Sep 15, 2017 at 12:19
  • Ok, so clearly not 'ricochet' so I'll let my answer stand as-is. Sep 15, 2017 at 18:03

2 Answers 2


Fouetté it's a fairly standard (advanced) bowing term. It is pretty much the same an accented detaché but on the string (unlike an accented sautillé).

It is also called a "whipped stroke," by analogy with the classical ballet movement with the same name.

It is mostly used on up-bows, so presumably the "en tirant" is asking for it on a down bow. That would make sense from your image - the fouetté only applies to the dotted 32nd note before each trill, and by implication the trills themselves, on the off-beats, are meant to be up-bows.

Refs: http://www.violinist.com/blog/stein4strings/20164/19494/ http://www.siegelproductions.ca/calvinsieb/bow.htm

There don't seem to be any YouTube videos, at least with English commentary. I found one in Spanish, but I don't speak that language.

  • You sure about the note? I view it as applicable to the trilled note (based on position) Sep 15, 2017 at 18:06
  • @CarlWitthoft If you can figure out how to play a trill with a separate bow stroke for each note (and each note accented and detached) then you may be right - but playing like that would be beyond me!
    – user19146
    Sep 16, 2017 at 1:20

Taking a peek at the online Dolmetsch dictionary (everyone should bookmark this),

I see a listing for

tiré (French m.) drawn, pulled - referring to the down-bow on the violin

So, along with Google's "Whip pulling" pseudotranslation, I would suspect a down-bow either extremely fast, so as to lose "grab" on the string, or possibly a down-bow ricochet.

It's certainly an obscure marking, and perhaps some native French speaker can comment on the idiomatic meaning.

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