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Left handed bows


ChipG

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A lefty friend of mine got all excited when a local violin renter persuaded him to believe there is such a thing as a left-handed bow. She said there was a canter-not to be confused with camber- that exists for righties or lefties.

I am new to Maestronet so could someone direct me to previous discussion on this if it is an old topic. Are there really left-handed bows.

Thanks color>

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When bows are imported from China, if they are not rotated 180 degrees when crossing the International Date Line, they have to be sold as 'left-handed'. Several dealers have tried rotating them after they arrived in the shop, but it's seldom effective. PDQ Bach has composed several pieces that can only be played with a left-handed bow, but this has not increased their value. Many people have wondered for years why they cannot play effective legato tones...it's because with a left-handed Chinese bow, it comes out as regato

OK - I'll stop now.

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Chip, I think you're probably going to be waiting a while. I could be wrong, but after so many years of making, repairing and rehairing, I would probably have heard of such a thing, and I never have. Maybe not though, someone here may surprise both of us.

(Fubi - were you trying to make me mad, or did you just conveniently forget to mention Philip Glass's "Repetitive Exercise for the Left Handed Violin Bow" suite in Bb. Another one of my all time favorites, though it does get a bit tiresome after a few hours, or, halfway through the first movement...)

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No intention of incurring your musical wrath. I thought it best not to comment on the Bb suite until I'd had a chance to try it. And, after ordering a bow from China, and specifying explicit routing which would produce the proper lefthanded cambor, a storm blew the ship off course, AND turned the ship violently, thereby removing the lefthandedness. Please forgive me, and I heartily recommend to the rest of the board to accept your esteemed opinion of the work. I'd love a copy of the program notes if you have a copy...

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Fubbi, unfortunately for us both (and the world at large) the printed version of the suite was being shipped here from China (where it had been printed) also.

Word is the the ship was blown off course, during an especially nasty storm, and turned vilolently around (could it have been the same ship, I wonder?) When the ship finally arrived at its port in Los Angeles (during the strike, I might add) and the sheet music was unloaded, all of the music was found to be the lesser known and not very well recieved "Repetitive Exercise For The Right Handed Violin Bow" suite.

I know this sounds like a lame excuse, but it really did happen. Maybe I can dig up my personal first edition copy, which, having been printed right here in the United States, never did have to cross the International Date Line.... Would that help?

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ChipG, does your friend have a left-handed violin, too? I never heard of a left-handed one.

By the way: I never understood why left-handed people need left-handed guitars, basses or violins. I am right-handed but when I learned guitar I had to make my "bad" hand do things of much complexity. So a left-handed has the advantage of doing complex work (fingering) with his "good" hand. This is by far most evident with violins playing.

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Tarisio, that's an interesting idea but don't you think that if there were any significant advantage to doing the fingering with the dominant hand, violins and other stringed instruments would have been designed the other way round and we'd all be bowing left-handed? Rather than "why are there left-handed guitars" I think the question to ask is "why aren't there left-handed violins!" I assume that it relates to the logistics problems that would result in orchestras if there were a mix of left- and right-handed bowers (i.e., I don't want my stand partner putting his bow up my nose!). -Steve

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