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26 votes
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How do orchestras synchronize bow movement?

All the three options you enumerate come into play: some bowings are obvious: a measure of four quarter notes with no markings is very likely going to be down-up-down-up. A forte note by itself will ...
PiedPiper's user avatar
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25 votes

Violin - Can double stops be played when the strings are not next to each other?

As Jomiddnz points out, there's pizzicato. You could also bow one string and pluck another at the same time. But if you want both notes played with the bow, and don't want the bow to catch the ...
Rosie F's user avatar
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17 votes
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What is the difference between starting with an upbow and a downbow?

Bowing on a violin is important: Playing downbow will start closer to the end of the bow where your hand is (the frog), which will allow your to transfer force onto the strings quite directly, ...
Lazy's user avatar
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14 votes
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Can I play the cello without pronation of the bow hand?

IANAMPT (music physical therapist), so take this as encouragement rather than direction. I would not let any physical disability short of losing your arm :-) stop you from trying to learn the ...
Carl Witthoft's user avatar
11 votes

Violin - Can double stops be played when the strings are not next to each other?

Just to be pedantic, you could pretty easily bow the open G and A strings together by holding the D string depressed just above the bridge.
Scott Wallace's user avatar
11 votes
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What does o b Dr. mean in a Rode Caprice #5?

Check the beginning of the book. It stands for oberes Drittheil, or using the upper third of the bow. Note, these suggestions of bow usage are by the editor Emil Kroll. Personally, for modern ...
Andy Bonner's user avatar
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9 votes
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What's this rectangular notation symbol?

As someone else has already said, this symbol indicates that the player should play at the heel or frog of the bow. These images are from an edition of Bach's 6 Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin (...
Shannon Duncan's user avatar
9 votes

Why does this edition use an upside-down up-bow to indicate down-bow?

He explains this right at the start of the book (First Edition, from IMSLP). Tirez = pull, Poussez = push. In other words, ^ is a different notation for a down bow.
guest's user avatar
  • 109
8 votes

Why tilt a violin bow inward? (I.e., stick towards bridge, not towards scroll)

Heifetz uses a Russian bow-hold. This is almost never seen today in classical violinists and is more common in gypsy jazz. Some things are easier with a Russian bow-hold, you naturally apply more ...
Brian Towers's user avatar
  • 5,630
8 votes

How do orchestras synchronize bow movement?

How is this achieved? There is a hierarchy throughout the orchestra for each group of musicians (woodwind, brass, violinists, violists, cellists, etc.). Each group has a leader who is responsible for ...
Brian Towers's user avatar
  • 5,630
7 votes
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Slapping Violin Strings with bow

Looks to me like the player is interspersing conventionally bowed notes with left-hand pizzicato notes. This is similar to the pull-off (ligado) technique on guitar, but has a quite different sound. ...
Bob Broadley's user avatar
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7 votes

Violin - Can double stops be played when the strings are not next to each other?

Absolutely, but it's harder on a modern instrument As RedLitYogi says, the convex bridge (not the fingerboard!) affects your ability to play more than two adjacent strings. A tight bow means you can ...
Graham's user avatar
  • 4,802
7 votes

What is the difference between starting with an upbow and a downbow?

Since a violinist doesn't hold the bow like a sword or hammer (!), but far more gently, there is naturally more weight at the frog end. This means that arm weight and gravity are both playing their ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 195k
6 votes

How was the bow invented?

There are only two possible kind of vibrations with a string fixed at both ends: Plucking; the vertical impulse leads to a transversal vibration twisting, leading to a torsional vibration To get the ...
guidot's user avatar
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6 votes
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Violin - Can double stops be played when the strings are not next to each other?

Just to add to the other answers, there's this unusual technique where you loosen the hair of the bow and play with the stick of the bow under the violin, but the hair wrapping over it. This allows ...
abl's user avatar
  • 192
6 votes
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Bowing signs (?) in Lajos Montag's double bass method

The are defined in the introduction. The arrows mean "full bow" and the other symbol (which is fairly standard) means "at the frog". See the picture for the full set of symbols - apologies for the ...
guest's user avatar
  • 76
5 votes

Can I play the cello without pronation of the bow hand?

While I have not played cello, I do (too infrequently) play upright bass. For upright, there are different ways of holding the bow. First is French, which is more palm down. And German which is ...
RabidPrimate's user avatar
5 votes

Violin bowing techniques

Absolutely; you just write a little marking to indicate to the performer when to switch between pizzicato and regular bowing. In the score, we use the call arco to signal that the performer should bow ...
Richard's user avatar
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5 votes

Playing sweetly vs gently in violin

I think the taste metaphor does capture it quite well: while piano and dolce are both “soft” in a sense, they are so in very different ways. p is a shy, fragile kind of soft, in the way a balm mint ...
leftaroundabout's user avatar
5 votes

How to play 3 notes at the same time on the violin? (Der Erlkonig)

I'm sure you already know the one word answer "Practice". Hilary Hahn's predecessor as world #1, Maxim Vengerov, released this short YouTube video describing how you should practice to play ...
Brian Towers's user avatar
  • 5,630
4 votes
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Difficulty with pitch and precision when bowing

Disclaimer: not a teacher. This is just what my teachers have had me do. Get a teacher. Violins are hard to learn. You have so much more control over all aspects of sound production on a violin ...
Matthew Walton's user avatar
4 votes

Difficulty with pitch and precision when bowing

This is a violin, not a piano. There is a large number of degrees of freedom for all of the playing action. You don't just strike a tone and it's there. You have to control it from start to end ...
user36381's user avatar
4 votes
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How to prepare to play bowed vibraphone?

I'd like to add some experience to the existing answer as an orchestral percussionist with some (controversial) background as a violinist. Vibraphone bowing is a wide term that is often underestimated ...
musicamante's user avatar
  • 6,996
4 votes

What's this rectangular notation symbol?

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 ...
Richard Barber's user avatar
4 votes

String Instrument Bowings

You would play this as down-up-down-up for the first measure, and so on. Unless there are more bowing markings, then you would switch to what the markings tell you. Otherwise you can refer to the lone ...
Meredith's user avatar
  • 117
4 votes

How to represent the staccato in the piano score?

given that the eighth notes are so short anyway(tempo is quarter note = 138 BPM) "Staccato" literally means "separated," not "short." A staccato eighth note at 138 BPM will still need to be shorter ...
Peter's user avatar
  • 6,506
4 votes

How to play 3 notes at the same time on the violin? (Der Erlkonig)

Okay, I watched a video to refresh my memory, and I chose a Hahn performance: . Here's the way I think about triple stops: it's going to be kind of like two double ...
aparente001's user avatar
  • 4,598
4 votes
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Seamless detaché on violin

I'll post a very broad answer that might apply to many; I hope to edit it to more specific advice if you can add a recording of yourself. Pay attention to the moment that the bow changes direction. (...
Andy Bonner's user avatar
  • 18.1k

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