I recently encountered a symbol in a Violoncello score which I was not able to identify. It is shown in the image below after the p (piano).

I looked for it in the Musescore documentation and in the Lilypond notation tables, but was unable to find it.

What is the meaning of this symbol?

Unknown symbol

  • 2
    You may also add Dolmetsch page to your references but I could not find it there either. (Could it be a turned mute symbol?)
    – guidot
    Commented Jan 16, 2019 at 13:41

2 Answers 2


As someone else has already said, this symbol indicates that the player should play at the heel or frog of the bow.

enter image description here enter image description here

These images are from an edition of Bach's 6 Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin (BWV 1001-1006) and exactly match the symbol in your score.

  • That would make perfekt sense. The publisher of the scorebook n which I saw the cello piece was "Editio Music Budapest" (EMB). The language to the upper left in the image seems to be Hungarian, so maybe it even the same publisher? (EMB has the six sonatas in German, at least: kotta.info/en/product/8748/…)
    – Fabian
    Commented Jan 21, 2019 at 13:34

The symbol might resemble the frog/heel/nut of the bow, indicating to the player that the bow is placed on the string very near the frog of the bow. The player might up-bow from very near the frog to the frog itself. Some terms for this are Frosch(Ger.), au talon(Fr.), and hausse(Fr.). Here is another example of nouveaux bow placement markings for frog and tip:

frog and tip notation


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