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More than one note per bow
Intervals played within one bow stroke
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Peter
West Sussex, England UK
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December 12, 2019 - 11:49 am
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Apart from slurs, at what point is it acceptable / sensible to play more than one note in one stroke of the bow?

Are there recommendations, rules-of-thumb, or is it a matter of player convenience or style? I find myself doing it sometimes, especially on Scottish snaps, where I'm guessing it's the right thing to do. Where else can it be done?

I am without a teacher.

Peter

"It is vain to do with more that which can be done with less"  - William of Ockham

"A crown is merely a hat that lets the rain in" - Frederick the Great

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BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
December 12, 2019 - 12:23 pm
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Hmmm, hard to say specifically I guess - but you're right about the "snaps" (IMO) 

Only real thing I can think of is where the natural rhythm ( especially if it's following the vocalised performance - not always the best idea but definitely works when playing a solo cover of a well known song ) demands it - and going into an up-then-down bow just before (or even earlier in the bar before) the next bar stops you from naturally using a down-bow "beat" on the first note of the following bar (if indeed that's where the song (vocalised) beat lies).

I suppose it could also simply be "called out" in the score (either to "correct/avoid" the issue (if it IS an issue) above, or maybe simply to give direction to the player.

Personally - I ignore such scored instructions (well, no - that's too strong - I'm aware of such directions - and I'll try to accommodate it) - and I THINK ( ... yeah ) what happens with me is - because going back to my first paragraph - many of the tunes I play have well known lyrics/words, which make the tunes become actual "songs" - and I'll play it and accent it as if it were being sung - and THAT is where sure - I'll specifically articulate two (or more) notes on the same bow stoke - as you say - not slurred, rather, specifically articulated - either by a quick stop/restart or heavy accentuation - not necessarily going as far and obviously separated as a full flying up or down bow staccato. 

I have NO idea if that makes any sense or not....  just trying to describe what I do in that sort of circumstance - and probably failing ! LOL

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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Gordon Shumway
London, England
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December 12, 2019 - 1:01 pm
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Basically only at slurs, including slurred staccato.

However, you could employ emphatic portato/louré bowing instead of détaché at a pinch if you aren't in an orchestra having to copy your section leader's bowing.

Andrew

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GregW
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December 12, 2019 - 2:01 pm
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@Peter I know my teacher has used what youre asking about a few times on different tunes.  probably more but one tune that comes to mind is Star of the County Down the waltz slow version..not the pub march type version.  there was a measure that we used 2 up bows without a slur.  1 purpose was to keep the groove and then have the bow be down for the next measure which was like an ending section where she wanted a strong pull.  a slur made it loose some definition.   also one or possibly more of the little drummer boy parts for the group project has a measure somewhere I seem to remember that has a couple of up bows in a row.  I could be remembering wrong there.   Can't speak for anything else. 

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BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
December 12, 2019 - 3:05 pm
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Absolutely correct on the consecutive up-bows @GregW -

Capture.JPGImage Enlarger

 And going back to how I interpret that (knowing the vocalisation) - would be - (accented beats in caps) -

~ these gifts i | GIVE to you PA | rum pum pum pummmmm | 

(where the PA is naturally accented because it will ( ? ) be a down bow)

and NOT ( to my mind, if there were no consecutive up-bow indications )

~ these gifts i | GIVE to you pa | RUM pum pum pummmmm |

(where the RUM is naturally accented not only because it comes next, but also, the temptation to intentionally accent it further, being the first beat in the bar, which may disturb the SONG as distinct from the TUNE)

Does that worry people ?   Is the first note of the 3rd bar above a down bow or not ?  Is that an assumption too far ?   Does it matter ?  Are printed scores full and complete instructions or just indications, hints, and composer/arranger guidelines?  Is a score a "song" or a representation of a "tune" ?   Is there a difference - some would say not and call any piece played a "song" ?

If I thought more about it, I'd worry, but I won't go there LOL !

[ LOL folks - don't flame me on this - I am being intentionally contentious here as someone who understands a reasonable amount about the physical nature of sound and music, but relatively little about the written presentation on a score sheet  other than being able to read the notes and always happy to be enlightened ! roflol ]

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I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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starise
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December 12, 2019 - 3:20 pm
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I have only recently been attempting to move my bow in exact relation the notes and tempo. I just played "Oh Come Oh Come Emmanuel" at my church. I have the YouTube recording of it. My teacher  marked out all of my bow upstrokes and down strokes to maximize the bow moves to that tune which were generally three or four notes to a pull. If you don't go close to the frog you end up running out of bow when you need it on the downstroke. The faster tunes usually aren't as difficult because you can get more notes to a pull. This is a slower tune.

What happened was I got crossed up in a few places and had to do some "damage control". I would use the last 3" of my bow to get a note in I missed the measure before it. Up, down, Up, down, Up, Down, Up, Down WAY DOWN oh crap!.............whoops! UP TO THE FROG FAST THERE BUDDY! surprised I made it work by precisely squeezing one more note in there. Acceptable? Probably not. Sensible? It rescued me. I don't think anyone noticed. That kind of thing seems to come more natural after more playing.

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BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
December 12, 2019 - 3:24 pm
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starise said
....... Up, down, Up, down, Up, Down, Up, Down WAY DOWN oh crap!.............whoops! UP TO THE FROG FAST THERE BUDDY! surprised I made it work by precisely squeezing one more note in there. Acceptable? Probably not. Sensible? It rescued me. I don't think anyone noticed. That kind of thing seems to come more natural after more playing

Love it !   And it looks  like all bowing rules go out the window ( whoaaa - there they go - did you see them ? ) when it comes to certain Irish fiddle tunes....

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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Peter
West Sussex, England UK
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December 12, 2019 - 3:36 pm
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Hey, people; thanks for the great replies. Our household has been busy this evening, and I've only just picked up on the thread.

I'll read the replies a little more thoroughly in the morning, when I feel a little less distracted: I had a disaster ten minutes ago.

I played through one of the violin parts for the Christmas project on the electric fiddle, and then uncased the old violin to begin serious practice. I tuned up, and found I was slightly sharp on the G, and so did the obvious thing (for a guitarist) and yanked the string away from the fingerboard to stretch it flat (the strings are two weeks old). The tailpiece gave way with a crack like a pistol. So, I have some work to do in the morning to repair it.

Peter

"It is vain to do with more that which can be done with less"  - William of Ockham

"A crown is merely a hat that lets the rain in" - Frederick the Great

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AndrewH
Sacramento, California
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December 12, 2019 - 4:48 pm
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Being a section leader in one of my orchestras, I have to actually think about bowings. Ah, responsibility.

I agree with Billy's bowing and overall approach above. The way I decide on bowings is to first look for notes that I think absolutely have to be down-bows or absolutely have to be up-bows, then fill in the rest of the bowings to get the bow to the right place for those notes. I aim to do it as comfortably as possible without breaking the musical interpretation.

For consecutive notes in the same direction, options include retakes (where there is enough of a rest for it), inserting slurs in legato passages, or portato/loure or slurred staccato as appropriate for the context.

There is also the option of breaking up a slur -- in which case the place to change bows is determined by the shape of the phrase.

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GregW
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December 12, 2019 - 11:20 pm
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BillyG said

starise said

....... Up, down, Up, down, Up, Down, Up, Down WAY DOWN oh crap!.............whoops! UP TO THE FROG FAST THERE BUDDY! surprised I made it work by precisely squeezing one more note in there. Acceptable? Probably not. Sensible? It rescued me. I don't think anyone noticed. That kind of thing seems to come more natural after more playing

Love it !   And it looks  like all bowing rules go out the window ( whoaaa - there they go - did you see them ? ) when it comes to certain Irish fiddle tunes....

  

ROFL @Billyg ...hey you know there ain't no Rules in folk music.  play it how you feel.  my teacher tries to gives us suggested bowings and explain why she is doing it.  She does a great job.  No knock on anyone but teaching a group of beginner fiddlers seems like it would be a chore without some type of standard.  but alone yeah..bow it how it makes sense.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
December 13, 2019 - 12:19 pm
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It's always a balance between what you should do musically and matching your other fellow musicians/colleagues....

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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