A general comment regarding extended techniques:

Scordatura tuning

Retuning the strings. Notated with a verbal instruction to retune, possibly with an additional staff to show new tunings. Do not retune more than a tone, and in general it is better to lower than raise the pitch of the string. Retuning takes time and care.

Tap instrument

Tapping the body of the instrument with fingers or with the bow. Notated with a verbal instruction, with x-shaped noteheads for extended passages. Finger taps are common, but bow taps are to be used with care: no player would want to risk damaging the violin. If a bow tap is called for, the safest place to tap is the chinrest.

Play behind bridge

Playing the strings between the bridge and the tailpiece. Notated with a verbal instruction, with x-shaped noteheads if necessary. The standard bowing and plucking techniques may be used for this effect.

 

 

 

Bow on bridge

Bowing the strings directly on the bridge. Notated with a verbal instruction, with x-shaped noteheads if necessary. This is not the same as sul ponticello which plays near the bridge.

Bow tailpiece

Bowing the tailpiece. Notated with a verbal instruction. Extremely quiet!

 

 

 

 

 

Strike strings

Striking the strings with the hand. Notated with a verbal instruction. Pitches may also be fingered with the left hand.

 

 

 

Scratch note

Pressing down hard on the string with the bow to produce a rasping. Notated with a verbal instruction, with x-shaped noteheads. As an obvious sign of bad technique, this sound is not flattering to the player.

 

 

 

'Silent' fingering

Fingering pitches with the left hand without bowing or plucking the strings. Notated with a verbal instruction. Very quiet.

 

quartertones

Microtones


Intervals smaller than a semitone. Notations vary, but the examples above show a microtonal inflection and a quartertone. Microtones are tricky to pitch, and can easily sound like 'out of tune' playing, particularly if attempted by an entire section at once!
Microtones:

The Orchestra: A User's Manual is a free resource and will remain so. It still receives between 8,000 and 16,000 unique visits per month from all over the world. See the testimonials. Thanks to all the donations, I have been able to create this responsive re-design. But the movies and sound clips recorded in 2004 do show their age. I would really like to re-record everything and add many more techniques, especially for solo and ensemble writing. I estimate this will cost around £30,000. If you know a source of such funds, please contact me: a.hugill [at] bathspa.ac.uk