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What to WHACK with your bow?


Desert Rat
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OK, I just watched the movie Music of the Heart. In the "Big Concert" scene, toward the end of the film, a gaggle of famous fiddlers are on stage. After they complete their group performance, the camera pans along the row of clapping musicians, and there's Itzhak Pearlman, apparently whacking his bow accross the back of his violin as a form of applause. A little further down the line we see Joshua Bell smacking his bow on the top of his music stand.

As you all know, I'm new to this whole violin thing, so please forgive the following naive question:

Are these guys freakin' NUTS!!??

What's up with that? I mean, Pearlman was going after that fiddle like he was in danger of losing the Preakness!

Yikes. Do regular players actually do this?

Rat

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Hmmm.

I wouldn't be surprised if these guys actually knew better and were tongue-and-cheeking it for the movie.

What I find much more harmful is when players tighten their bows excessively.

When people (particularly professionals) use my bows, I prevent them from tightening the hair more than a pencil's width between shaft and hair.

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I have known some orchestra players who have tapped the music with the bow to applaud a soloist or conductor. But only one have I seen actually tap the bow (and a really nice (now scarred) old French bow) on the top of the metal stand.

The smart ones actually just clap (which does hurt your hands if it's loud enought to be heard) or the feign applause, by "shaking the bow" as if tapping the music or stand but actually make no noise - they let the audience do that.

With the current price of pernambuco bows, tapping them on anything is about like running your car into objects as a show of appreciation.

Andy

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For those who have not made the comparison of seeing both "Music Of the Heart" and "Small Wonders". The real-life fine-violinist contingent in the documentary, "Small Wonders" was several times larger than in the Hollywood adaptation. They shared the same violinists - it's just that many more showed up for the real charity event than were (apparently) willing to take a fee to do it for a movie.

Andy

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The kids in Richmond Symphony Youth Orchestra either clap on hand on their thighs in applause or pat their feet, both of which are very nice to witness.

The instruments and bows are consequently safe and it kind of looks like an esprit de corps kind of thing--its separates the appreciation of the musicians from that of the audience in a cool kind of divisive way.

Best regards,

Theresa

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>>>there's Itzhak Pearlman, apparently whacking his bow accross the back of his violin as a form of applause. A little further down the line we see Joshua Bell smacking his bow on the top of his music stand.<<<

You won't see Perlman or Bell doing that in a real situation, so I must assume this was the director's idea.

William Faulkner once did some writing for Hollywood. When he came back, he had a bit of advice for younger artists: Don't take the work seriously; DO take the people seriously. Sounds like a good recipe to me...

Mark_W

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In my orch. we gently tap the stand as a form of applause for a conductor or something. But then again, the most expensive bow any of us has is probably about $200.

A fun thing to try with a bow that this thread reminded me of. We used to do this in middle school a ton (have stopped since)....but whoever is sitting in front of you, take the bow and stick it straight in their....ummm...on second thought, forget that idea.

DiMa

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When people (particularly professionals) use my bows, I prevent them from tightening the hair more than a pencil's width between shaft and hair.

Hmm, reminds me that i am robably tightening my bow too much, I will be sure to check that when I practice tomorrow. I haven't heard that rule of thumb in a while. Thanks HKV!!!!

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We like to tap our feet or clap on our thighs, but this is the first time I've heard of bow applause. I often poke people with my bow if I want to get their attention even though they're within my voice range... and if I happen to be sitting 3rd or 4th chair my stand partner or I might repeatedly stab the 1st or 2nd chair (sometimes that stuck up walk to sit down or flip of the hair gets to you) and innocently look at the music or talk to each other when met with an angry face. Yes, sometimes we get beaten with bows too, or get pummelled by the end of a violin case on the way back to put our instruments away. (just kidding)

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quote:

Originally posted by canofspam123:

I once hit my ceiling fan with my bow, or maybe the fan hit my bow. Either way, it was not a good thing.

Now THAT was very funny.

Hey, here's a new question: has anyone ever made a bow using human hair? Just curious.

Back to the topic, in the movie hilary and jackie, she puts the cello outside in the snow...poor thing. That's somewhat understandable, but there were parts of that movie that i just did NOT get.

[This message has been edited by River (edited 09-17-2000).]

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Michael answered that question about human hair once this year on another thread--not strong enough (even in bundles), not thick enough, not scaly enough (although there was this really rather wonderful debate that developed on that point including microscopic photographs of horsehairs) and some other distinctive features also lacking.

But judging by some of these new hair sprays and the way they make my hair feel, I'm wondering whether eventually human hair COULD be used to grab a string. smile.gif

And off to bed,

Theresa

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quote:

Originally posted by HuangKaiVun:

Sometimes in orchestra, I act as if I'm whacking the music stand to applaud a soloist or conductor but never really hit the stand.

That's my version of "air-bowing".

And that is essentially what Perlman is doing on the back of his violin too. This is all "visual applause." Perlman really would and does do this as many others do too. It's just a cute visual done without any damage to instruments.

Like stuntmen (and woman) don't really get hurt when they jump off of buildings...

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