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Question about the correct performance of whole bows in 3/4 measures

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#1 dariyoosh

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Posted 17 November 2016 - 23:11

Hi,

 

I would like to ask a question about bow strikes in 3/4 measures. I'm (self) learning by using "The Doflein method" and at page 15, there is an exercice (n° 31) for practicing how to manage whole bows in 3/4 measures.

 

I'm going to upload a picture of that part in the book here, there is a text which indicates how one should proceed (I put it in a red frame to be more obvious). What I would like to ask you to do is to kindly check whether, based on the recommendation given in the red frame, my understanding formulated as comments in measures 1, 4 and 7 of the given piece are correct and I'm on the right track from a performance point of view.

 

And here is the picture:

Violin_bow.jpg

 

Thanks a lot


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#2 Tenor Viol

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Posted 17 November 2016 - 23:39

Yes, you often have to bow up/down at different speeds in order to recover enough bow. Sometimes, it doesn't make sense to recover the whole bow in one go and you can end up 'working along the bow' if you're not careful and running out of bow. You've got to be careful that the crotchet single note bow isn't louder than the tied pair of crotchets bow i.e. faster bow shouldn't be louder, this may require an adjustment to the pressure used. 


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#3 dariyoosh

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Posted 17 November 2016 - 23:53

Many thanks for your reply.

 

You've got to be careful that the crotchet single note bow isn't louder than the tied pair of crotchets bow i.e. faster bow shouldn't be louder, this may require an adjustment to the pressure used. 

 

Indeed this was the very same problem which I encountered today. Maybe for now is normal given that today was the first time I was practicing bows in a 3/4 measure. So I will need to practice a lot more so that I might be able to produce a clean and not louder sound for the faster bow by the adjustment of the pressure on the strings as you said.

 

Many thanks for the help.


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#4 kenm

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Posted 18 November 2016 - 14:41

Many thanks for your reply.

 

You've got to be careful that the crotchet single note bow isn't louder than the tied pair of crotchets bow i.e. faster bow shouldn't be louder, this may require an adjustment to the pressure used. 

 

Indeed this was the very same problem which I encountered today. Maybe for now is normal given that today was the first time I was practicing bows in a 3/4 measure. So I will need to practice a lot more so that I might be able to produce a clean and not louder sound for the faster bow by the adjustment of the pressure on the strings as you said.

 

Many thanks for the help.

Not only you.  When Silvestri became conductor of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, it played the Natiional Anthem before every concert.  We noticed that there was an unexpected and unwanted bulge in the sound at the quaver corresponding to the "scious" of  "gracious", and wondered whether it was a Romanian accent that Silvestri had introduced, but then discovered it was there also when the orchestra had visiting conductors of other nationalities.  We decided that it was the result of one bow per note and the difficulty of using almost as much bow on the quaver as the previous dotted crotchet had used.

 

When I play or conduct music by Elgar or Sibelius, I use their bowing, because they were both expert violinists and understood how bowing could help to produce the musical effects that they wanted.  If the composer of "Evening Song" wants the effect that his/her bowing will produce, then I would wish not to perform it or to hear its performance.  It will do well enough as an exercise illustrating the difficulty of bow management.  To produce a good performance of it with string players of adequate technical competence, I would ask them to use one bow per bar, with hesitations in the bow movement to separate the notes, except for bar 15, so that 16 can have a downbow and a diminuendo.  In particular, I would like the first beat of bar 13 to be the climax of the melody, and bar 12 should have a crescendo on an up bow, so that 13 can start at the heel.

 

My guide to bowing, paraphrased from expert string player and conductor, Christopher Adey: "It doesn't matter which way the bow is travelling; what's important is which bit of it is on the string."


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#5 JessicaQ

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Posted 18 November 2016 - 15:48

I'm not familiar with the Doflein method and not sure how this part is incorporated in the whole technical progress. If I were to approach it as a performance piece, I'd adopt what Kenm described, simply changing the bowing as fit. But looking at it as a study, I wonder perhaps it's intended for improving right hand technique?
Take bar 1 as an example. You can have a solid down bow as the usual way, but in upbow at the faster speed, instead of sliding through with hair on the string throughout causing the tone to change, apply pressure at tip and release and slightly lift up the bow with leverage of your little finger as you move it up, so that you actually use half of the bow length on the string going back, and "fly" slightly off the string back to the frog. The result should suit the musicality too.
I remember when younger my teacher asked me to do this exercise that he described as an airplane taking off. And opposite direction would be "landing". It's good exercise for right hand flexibility and bow control. Just be mindful of keeping it all relaxed without tension.
HTH
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#6 dariyoosh

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Posted 18 November 2016 - 17:27

Many thanks for your replies and your help.

 

Regards,


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#7 cestrian

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Posted 19 November 2016 - 09:35

My guide to bowing, paraphrased from expert string player and conductor, Christopher Adey: "It doesn't matter which way the bow is travelling; what's important is which bit of it is on the string."

 

Well, who am I to challenge but I'm not sure I agree with this statement. I spend hours playing open strings and scales making sure that no matter which part of the bow I'm using and which direction its moving, the sound generated is constant. The sound is all that matters and the sound is a function of bow speed, bow weight and position on the string. The point being that you need to adjust some or all of the three as you move the bow along the string.

 

First you need to decide what sound you want and then how to get it balancing these three parameters. In this exercise I imagine one is supposed to decide what sound is required, whether constant or articulated somehow, and manage the bow accordingly.

 

If you are seeking to keep the sound constant then clearly you will need to move the bow faster on the return and so make adjustments to the weight, etc.


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