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Bowing patterns and direction

Discussion in 'Orchestral Technique [DB]' started by kaybass1952, Jun 30, 2005.

  1. kaybass1952


    Mar 12, 2004
    Wondering how to work out bow direction?Till now I usually start bars with a down bow,(or upbow if starting on an upbeat). unless otherwise indicated. I'm working on Simandl 30 etudes .Some pieces give slurs ,that keep even number of bows per bar(ie: etude#13 bar 4 or 6), or indicate a specific bow direction(ie:etude#15 bar 2 ). I've figured out most pieces but , I 'm really stuck on Etude#14. This piece has many switches of even ,then odd numbers of notes per bar and no bow markings are indicated. I haven't been able figure out a bowing pattern that works for me (up till now this hasn't been a problem). Any ideas on this piece and general rules for bow direction would be greatly appreciated .
  2. Tbeers


    Mar 27, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    You doing Simandl "30 Studies"? I have the book in front of me. #14 is in 3/2 time signature, in the key of B major. Same etude? If so, read on.

    The measures with two half notes and then a quarter note triplet (the first measure for example), you could try "down up up" for the triplet so that you land on a down bow for the next measure.

    This particular etude does have some tricky rhythms in it. One thing to keep in mind: do not try to begin every measure with a down bow. Look at measure 25 of this exercise (you'll have to count). If you start on a down bow and take the next four measures as they come, you end up on a down bow on measure 29, and then 29-31 continue to take it as it comes. Then on measure 32 you have 9 notes to play... so what do you do? I might take the last set of triplets and bow them "down up up", so then you get a down bow on measure 33, when the original theme reappears. And from then to the end its just repetition.

    Think about bowing as though you're driving a car. When you're in driver's ed, they always tell you to look far ahead on the road, not just right in front of your car, so you can see things in advance and plan accordingly. Well, bowings can be the same way. If you spend your time trying to get a down bow on the first beat of almost every measure, you will drive yourself crazy. Look ahead.

    In the end you make compromises: when do you really need to have a down bow for emphasis etc., and when can you repeat bow strokes. Make sure your bowing feels natural and lends itself to articulations, phrasing, and dynamics.
  3. EFischer1

    EFischer1 Guest

    Mar 17, 2002
    New York, New York
    If you look at the first phrase of the etude, if you simply bow as it comes, it will work out. The same with the second phrase. These etudes are pretty well bowed.

    I know that the emphasis of the book is supposed to be tone production, but I think that simandl is also trying to diverge from the square bowing patterns of the first book. Try following the written bowings and see how things go.
  4. Also it helps to learn one bowing and then reverse it to learn more versatility. If you can learn to produce a strong sound on an upbow (with the kind of emphasis you hear on a downbow) it will help in section playing. The key is to practice slow, don't rush your progress. This is required to truly learn bowings.
    Good luck!

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