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Lyndon Taylor

Using a baroque bow for the first time.

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Ive been a musician all my life, and Ive been especially a connessour of baroque and renaissance original instruments performances, but Ive never had the nerve to try and attempt the both, Playing modern setup, and playing baroque set up. I play a three hundred year old Italian violin which is set up as it would have been in 1820, not 1900. The scale is only 325mm, and the bridge is lower than a modern bridge, Im not brave enough to go full baroque with gut strings ( I still prefer Eudoxa, but Ive never tried Passione) And I can't stand the baroque less curved fingerboard-bridge idea, with an authentic baroque setup I have real problems with bumping into the adjacent string. Right now Im learning to play without a chinrest with the violin held against the breast rather than under the neck, fiddle style. Changing positions is an adventure to say the least!

But the good news I found an original transitional-baroque bow, Dodd School?, that curves out, has a swan head, and doesn't have a ferrule or any abalone or metal on the ivory frog. The tone I get with this particular violin is superior in tone to my modern bow, and not really any quieter, qualities i am amazed to find. How is holding the baroque bow different from the modern way if there is a difference, how does baroque bowing technique differ from modern, I know I can play three note chords no problem, I just have to push into it quite strongly, And thoughful advice would be most sincerely appreciated, Lyndon Johann

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The Leopold Mozart book will tell you everything you need to know and more.

And it's right here, free:

http://www.archive.org/details...tiseonthefun007087mbp

Three-note chords is not really an issue. Thinking in terms of strong/weak notes, thinking in terms of 'speaking the story of the music', articulating the notes, using slurs as rhetorical tools rather than a way of life, and attention to 'messa di voce' is more the mark.

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Well, some people say you 'can' play simultaneous chords with 'baroque' bows, and some say you can't really if you're using proper replicas as intended. Whether one 'can', and whether or not we will ever know if they did back then, is a very small issue compared to the large amount that actually IS known about baroque style and the relevant functional strengths of baroque bows.

The simultaneous chord thing really just boils down to modern speculation based on taking certain music of the time very literally. Mostly it comes up in minority-position discussions such as the speculations that led to the invention of the now discredited 'Bach bow'.

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It would be easier to play certain passages using a Baroque bow, such as Partita #2 Courante measure 6, one note followed be 8 slurred notes. No one plays that way using a modern bow.

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My best advice would be to get out your solo Bach music - ideally with a copy of the manuscript to correct all the crazy editorial additions over the years, and just have fun experimenting. I find using a baroque bow copy so totally liberating with Bach, it seems so much easier to play. I especially love the lightness of touch that is possible and some movements which were previously sounding a bit stodgy like overcooked English fruitcake are now much lighter and more dance-like, but as with so many violinistic things it is so hard to explain in writing! Do you have a photo of your bow, it sounds interesting?

I'm using a conventional bow-hold but maybe a fraction higher up the stick than I would with a normal modern bow, the main difference for me is how and by how much I lift the bow from the strings. Now I think about it I find I can have a lighter grip as well

You might also find it useful to look up Rachel Podger on Youtube, I really like her bowing style and it has given me quite a few ideas to consider in my own practising.

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Who Maestro, great , that's exactly how Im holding the bow with three fingers more spread out than standard modern, have you ever tried frettign the two low strings with yoru thum, Im doing it all the time you can play four note melodies instead of only three, sincerely Lyndon, the inverterent millionaire

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Maestrolover--I'd love to hear your thoughts about Rachel Podger's bowing. I am also a big fan of her playing. I had a chance to see her give a master class a few years ago. I remember that she paid particular attention to right hand wrist and finger flexibility and used a paintbrush analogy and exercise. She discussed how this flexibility affects how the bow sinks into the string for different dynamics and sounds. She recommended the L. Mozart bowing dynamic exercises and discussed the use of the first finger as the control.

I heard someone on an older baroque recording recently whose playing reminded me of Ms. Podger and it turned out to be one of her old teachers, the late Micaela Comberti.

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My best advice would be to get out your solo Bach music - ideally with a copy of the manuscript to correct all the crazy editorial additions over the years, and just have fun experimenting. I find using a baroque bow copy so totally liberating with Bach, it seems so much easier to play. I especially love the lightness of touch that is possible and some movements which were previously sounding a bit stodgy like overcooked English fruitcake are now much lighter and more dance-like, but as with so many violinistic things it is so hard to explain in writing! Do you have a photo of your bow, it sounds interesting?

<BR>

<BR>I'm using a conventional bow-hold but maybe a fraction higher up the stick than I would with a normal modern bow, the main difference for me is how and by how much I lift the bow from the strings. Now I think about it I find I can have a lighter grip as well

<BR>

<BR>You might also find it useful to look up Rachel Podger on Youtube, I really like her bowing style and it has given me quite a few ideas to consider in my own practising.

Could you please tell me the difference between a baroque and a modern bow? I have no idea on it.

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Baroque bows are shorter, of various lengths, lighter, are not visibly cambered, have lower heads with generally pointier shapes, the frogs are of simpler design and different shapes, and originally they usually had a clip-in frog, although many modern replicas or 'neo-baroque' bows have screw frogs like a modern bow.

An idea of the variety of early bows can be seen at this maker's site:

http://www.ashmeadbows.com/bar_violin.htm

Beautiful copies of some unambiguous baroque bows can be seen in the pre-modern bow section at this maker's site:

http://www.violinbows.net/hand.html

...and additional information and examples, as well as an interesting article on how bows changed from the baroque period through Mozart's time can be found at this maker's site:

http://www.historicalbows.com/

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Could you please tell me the difference between a baroque and a modern bow? I have no idea on it.

+++++++++++++++

The stick has a shape of convex arch in an opposite way.

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Baroque bows are shorter, of various lengths, lighter, are not visibly cambered, have lower heads with generally pointier shapes, the frogs are of simpler design and different shapes, and originally they usually had a clip-in frog, although many modern replicas or 'neo-baroque' bows have screw frogs like a modern bow.

An idea of the variety of early bows can be seen at this maker's site:

http://www.ashmeadbows.com/bar_violin.htm

Beautiful copies of some unambiguous baroque bows can be seen in the pre-modern bow section at this maker's site:

http://www.violinbows.net/hand.html

...and additional information and examples, as well as an interesting article on how bows changed from the baroque period through Mozart's time can be found at this maker's site:

http://www.historicalbows.com/

Thanks...I looked at the sites and saw such a differrence! Do baroque bows give a softer sweeter sound in comparison to modern bows. They must be good for chamber music, i suppose.

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In general, baroque bows make it easier to make quick small separations and articulations. Some would say they are not built for volume--I'm not sure that's true, or at least true enough to be musically important. They're not for 'chamber music' per se, rather they are for those who want to play baroque music with historical equipment as a kind of aid to exploration and execution, be it in works for solo violin, trio sonatas, or in the string section of a baroque orchestra. :)

Here's a nice idiomatic solo, to give you an example of one concept of how the bows were used.

In another video previously mentioned in the thread Rachel Podger ravishes us with a technique more akin to what Leopold Mozart put forward in his tutor in 1756.

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In general, baroque bows make it easier to make quick small separations and articulations. Some would say they are not built for volume--I'm not sure that's true, or at least true enough to be musically important. They're not for 'chamber music' per se, rather they are for those who want to play baroque music with historical equipment as a kind of aid to exploration and execution, be it in works for solo violin, trio sonatas, or in the string section of a baroque orchestra. :)

Here's a nice idiomatic solo, to give you an example of one concept of how the bows were used.

In another video previously mentioned in the thread Rachel Podger ravishes us with a technique more akin to what Leopold Mozart put forward in his tutor in 1756.

This is nice..Im learning some things here! Apologies for me misunderstanding anyone here.

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My experience with baroque bows (which is admittedly limited at this point) is that you can't sustain volume all the way to the tip like you can on a modern bow. So the point that Andres brings up about volume is true, in my experience. I have tried an Ashmead baroque bow on my Snow cello, and there's nothing else I've tried that sounds better.

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