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I've already looked through the excellent information in this post:
but I still have some questions, specifically regarding bowing notation. I'm working through the simple pieces posted on this site, and I assume that one changes bow direction for every note, even though the bow direction is not explicitly shown for every note.
For example, on Danny Boy (Londonderry Air), only the initial up bow is shown, so I assume the initial three-note pickup and down beat are bowed as up-down-up down.
However, in the video of Fiddlerman's hauntingly beautiful rendition of this song, I see that he plays this up-up-up down. How should that be notated? I could add a slur connecting the first three notes, but that seems to change the intent of the piece. Is there a notation that means "even though these notes are not slurred together, they should all be played with the same bow direction" ?
Thanks in advance for any information,
Sounds like you're referring to hooked bowing. There is a notation for it, and it looks similar to a slur, but with dots under the hooked notes. Bowing notation is important when you're playing in an ensemble, but you can interpret a piece however you like, really. A well-known piece like Londonderry Air would be good for experimenting with different bowings since you're already pretty familiar with the sound.
Here's what the hooked bowing notation looks like. There's a brief, but distinct, pause separating the notes as you play them, making two A notes instead of one long A note.
I have another question related to bowing notation. In the version of "Go Tell Aunt Rhody" that is posted with the simple pieces on this site, there is an "crooked slur" connecting the last note in the 3rd measure (down bow) with the first note in the 4th measure (up bow). There is also a "crooked slur" connecting the last note in the 5th measure (up bow) with the first note in the 6th measure (down bow). Obviously this is not the same as a ("curved") slur, because there is a change in bow direction.
What is this notation called, and what is it telling me to do?
That is to indicate that there's a half step between those notes. It's not a special bowing notation (not one I've heard of anyway) it's just a visual reminder that F# to G natural is a half step, so you want to place your second finger right behind your third finger on the D string(called a high second finger). So, the D major scale is:
D E F#^G A B C#^D, this mark ^ = a half step, so they are played with a high second finger in first position. The other notes, like D to E, are a whole step apart. I hope this is clear enough to help!
Thanks again for the information. I have yet another question on bowing notation:
The sheet on this site for "Over the Rainbow", measure 11, has a down bow symbol in parentheses. I can see several possible interpretations:
- Instead of starting with an up bow, optionally start with a down bow.
- Start with an up bow, but (optionally) change direction to a down bow, but still make it sound like one long held note.
- Play the entire note as an up bow, but before playing the next note, take the bow off the strings and make a down bow motion to "reset" the bow, before starting the next note with an up bow.
All three of these seem like valid choices. Even if they are not the intention in this particular case, how are these instruction notated in words or in symbols? Finally, does anyone have a link to a good free online reference to bowing terms and notation? I have a decent pocket dictionary for general musical terms applicable to all instruments, but I don't have any good references for violin, strings, bowing etc.
Thanks in advance.