arco = bowed (as opposed to plucked). It is assumed that a passage
is bowed unless marked otherwise. However, once a 'pizz'
indication has been given, 'arco' must be indicated for the next bowed
passage. Where unusual bowing techniques are used, 'ord' or 'norm' will
return the player to normal bowing. Here is a selection of normal bowed
notes marked with 'hairpins', to give an idea of the range of bowing
pressures available. The violin is capable of great subtlety of dynamics
and tone colour:
D4 > E5 < F5 > B5 > C6 <
Bow travels from point to frog. Weaker
sound than down bow, and therefore used often on upbeats. There
is no need to indicate bowing unless a specific pattern of up and
down bows is required.
About down and up bows:
legno (Fr. bois de l'archet Germ. die Bogenstange) =
with the wood (but see the next entry). When
only col legno is indicated, players often use tratto
but engaging an amount of the hair of the bow. It is
best to specify the method.
col legno battuto/tratto
Very short notes, sometimes notated as staccato with the word 'spicc.'
i.e. bounced bow. A spiccato played in a single down bow is
called saltando, and in a single up-bow is called volante.
Rapid up-down bows. A
measured tremolo subdivides the beat accurately according to the number
of bars through the note stem. An unmeasured tremolo (usually indicated
with the word trem) is a very rapid alternation of up and down
Usually abbreviated to ric. An uncontrolled bouncing on the string. Sometimes notated with multiple dots over the note.
Played on a single string until otherwise indicated, thus sul G, sul D, sul A, sul E. Lends a particular colour to the timbre.
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