34

It's easiest for the player to put downward pressure on the instrument string when the bow is making contact with the string near the end that the player holds (the 'frog' end). This means that on a downstroke (extending the arm), it's easier to start the bowing action with firmer pressure. Players tend to take advantage of this by using downstrokes to ...


31

It's a fun experience to play with a convex Baroque bow, but if you've ever tried to use it for anything romantic or later, you'll quickly want to get back to the concave Tourte design that everybody has nowadays. The thing with convex bows is that they bounce around like mad. This can work quite well for the elegant-rhythmic dance feel of Baroque and early ...


28

Marching bands are about volume, projection, and power. A violin can't possibly match the projection of a brass instrument, and thus why they aren't included. That said, some bands have employed amplified string instruments, like electric bass, particularly for jazz and rock pieces.


26

Sharp-keys are in some ways nicer to play than flat ones. The preference for these keys is perhaps most extreme in folk styles: going through two collections of celtic-style fiddle music[978-1-85720-202-1],[1-871931-04-5], I found the distribution to be this crass: ♭♭ : 5 ♭  : 5 ♮  : 7 ♯  : 57 ♯♯ : 70 ♯♯♯: 9 In particular D major is really a great ...


25

For what it's worth, here's what Berlioz has to say in his Treatise on Instrumentation: The composer, when indicating the use of mutes in the middle of a piece (by the words con sordini), must not forget to allow sufficient time for putting them on. He should provide a rest in the violins, equal in length to about two bars in 4-4 time, moderato. The ...


23

This is one of the best questions I've seen for ages. I've looked for a while, but can't find a definitive answer, but hopefully I can give some useful information. Two things: the up bow mark doesn't really describe an upward direction, but instead that the bow is pushed, rather than pulled as in a down bow. So, this helps to explain why this doesn't use ...


17

At first sight, i would suppose the symbols are inspired by the different shapes of the bow's frog and tip respectively. But that's a mere guess, without corroboration by sources. EDIT: Here's an illustration showing a bow's frog (above - notice the orthogonal shape) and tip (below - showing the characteristic "pointy" shape): Image: By Henry Saint-George ...


16

You begin by listening to individual instruments, to learn what they sound like, and the variations in their sound. Solo pieces, quartets, etc. are one way to do this. Searching Youtube for instrument tutorials is another. I got my start in instrument recognition with Piccolo, Saxo et Compagnie when I was about 3 years old. Then try recognizing instruments ...


16

The 4 indicates that the A is to be played using the fourth finger on the D string, while the 0 indicates that the A is to be played as an open string. Given the double stop in the fourth measure, I suspect this is to be played as a double stop as well, rather than as a divisi. So each second violinist will be playing the A on two strings simultaneously.


14

There are several compositions written in purpose to present the orchestra, the instrument sections and the single instruments to the audience and especially for children like Peter and the wolf (Sergej Prokofiev) and The young persons guide to the orchestra (Benjamin Britten). You may listen to any youtube videos, watching or only listening. a) camera ...


13

The answer is a relatively simple answer: it is easier for the violin an cello to play in those keys because of how the strings are configured. Look at this picture of a G scale on the violin: As you can see, the G major scale fits very nicely on as the open strings notes make the scale extremely easy. Also because of the open string notes, many other sharp ...


13

Yes, Alto = Viola. It's the French name for the instrument, and the score shown is a part of 'Carnival of the Animals' by the French composer Camille Saint-Saëns. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Carnival_of_the_Animals#XII_%22Fossiles%22_(Fossils) The other instrument names are easily recognisable. Note that Bb Clarinet is 'Clarinette en SIb'. The ...


13

Actual marching bands don't have strings - I'm sure you could extend this list of reasons: Where would string players put sheet music? String instruments are expensive and fragile. Whilst you can buy a professional trumpet for a couple of grand, that doesn't buy you a professional quality violin. And although you can repair a dented trumpet, a snapped neck ...


13

Get an idea, how each instrument sounds separately (as covered in other answers) Train to read scores of ensembles with increasing number of instruments while listening. For orchestra pieces like symphonies start with smaller setting like Haydn. (Mahler, Berlioz, Wagner are a league above). Pieces with a singer are helpful (e.g. cantatatas and oratorios), ...


9

I would say that those ranges are a good guideline. Of course, their range upwards is theoretically infinite (or at least until you run out of fingerboard, for fingered notes), but it's somewhere around there that they start getting screechy and it takes a professional quality section to play in tune. You can expand those ranges a bit for soloists (...


9

Even if you angle the bow quite strongly, the entire breadth of hair does touch the string as soon as you put some pressure on the bow (the outermost hairs will get stretched and give way, i.e. the bow sinks deeper and the other hairs touch the string too. Only at very low pressure, i.e. very low dynamic level, is it really only the outermost hairs that ...


8

Last year I was told by a Baroque and Renaissance expert cellist/gambist that the ∏ and ⋁ signs originate from abbreviations of the latin nobilis and vilis. This blog post also says something along those lines. Apparently, french composers liked to write n above important notes, demanding that they be played in a particularly beautiful, noble fashion. To ...


8

First off, I would seriously consider having it done by a professional. Violin bow rehairing can cost about $50 with cello and bass bows costing a bit more. Given that it is quite a skilfull operation, that might be a consideration worth your while because there is always a risk of damaging your bow. I would suggest, however, that if the $50 rehairing fee ...


8

For a given instrument (violin, viola, cello, bass is more complicated), the tuning of a fractional size instrument (1/16, 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 are commonly seen, 7/8 used to be frequently called "lady's cello") is always the same as the full size instrument. viola is a bit complicated because professionals have different sizes (15', 16', sometimes 17' for ...


8

It's a damper, or mute, like this one here When you wish to mute the sound of the instrument you slide it near to the bridge in order to dampen the bridge vibrations.


7

I understand your frustration. The pegs behavior is related with different factors. Most usual factors are: - weather changes (humid/dry weather); - bad adjustment between peg and peg hole; - when the pegs are long periods without being adjusted (because of use of fine-tuners or because the instrument is not played often). Some advices: If the peg sits ...


7

Flageolet. Which means playing harmonics by lightly touching the string at some fraction of its total length.


7

It's not just about open strings. It's something to do with overall familiarity. Consider "first position" on a violin, the first one we ever learn. The four fingers are positioned to play a major second, major third, perfect fourth, and perfect fifth above the open string. Using the open strings tuned in fifths, one can play a major scale on two strings ...


7

I'd use your second option: metric modulation relative to the quarter note. With no notation at all, the unwritten convention I've witnessed is actually to assume a quarter note (or an eighth note, etc.) has the same tempo value throughout, so 2/4 to 6/8 does indeed have the duple meter feel slow down. On the other hand, at least there aren't many ...


6

n and v (standing for Latin "nobilis" and "vilis") seem to be first used in print in Georg Muffat's 1698 "Florilegium Secundum", a collection of music for string orchestra with a preface in which Muffat explains the French style of bowing (associated with Lully's orchestra) for the benefit of musicians elsewhere in Europe. They are definitely used by ...


6

You're definitely hearing a D4 along with this A, but are you sure about the F4? I wonder if you're actually hearing a G3. The reason is because of how string instruments are tuned. Violins, for instance, are tuned in 5ths, so when they tune to an A4, they tune the D4 along with the A4 to create a perfect fifth. Then they tune a G3 along with the D4 to ...


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