Can anyone tell me what the term battute means? In the arrangement of The Barber of Seville Overture, that my community orchestra is doing, about measure twenty five is marked allegro con brio, dynamic PP followed by "battute". Rough translation from Italian is beat or bar, but how does it apply here? Our concert master could not remember seeing it before. One of our cellists thought it meant to hit the string with the hair of the bow. I am leaning towards emphasize the first beat of every measure.
One of our fellow forumites has to know more about this.
I think it's the hit with the hair of the bow, sort of a tight, controlled spicatto. What else could it be, in Rossini? My part doesn't have that indication.
According to this discussion among violinists , it means this:
"Battute is a tightly controlled ricochet. You basically hit the string with the bow several times, as opposed to letting it bounce freely."
Hope this helps!
Thanks, guys. Your answers agree with our cellist's opinion. It is difficult to to hear what is going on in that passage. It sounds like a tight staccato, at PP level. I will just "wing it"
Another interpretation of "col legno battuto" is to strike the string with the bow stick near the head in ricochet or spiccato-like movements, eg violins in Berlioz' Symphonie Fantastique (March to the Gallows) or basses in Holst's The Planets Suite (Mars movement). There is also a half-hair half-stick version, by turning the bow on its side instead of upside down. For these it is handy to have an old clunker of a bow. Arco battuto (on the hair near the tip) would still sound percussive and would be quieter than both these but more musical (more note).
There is such a thing as "col legno arco" where you bow using the stick, not the hair. It gives soft notes with a whistling sort of sound because there are lots of overtones and a weak fundamental. It relies on the bow stick not being very clean and shiny.
there are two Col Legno's: Battuto and Tratto. Battuto is the most common, when you bounce the stick of the bow on the string. Tratto is when you draw sound from the stick.
Thanks guys, I am learning much from this thread.
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