THE ORCHESTRA: A USER'S MANUAL

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Introduction Orchestration Orchestration Resources Historical Andrew Hugill
  Philharmonia

VIOLIN


Section: Strings
Transposing? No

Construction
Range
Bowing
Plucking
Left Hand
Mute/Harmonics
Chords
Extended
Player's Tips and Tricks

Links

 

Left Hand

NAME
DESCRIPTION
NOTATION
LISTEN/VIEW
COMMENTS
vibrato
pitch undulation created by motion of the wrist and finger
not normally notated, but if extra vibrato is required, indicate molto vib under note(s)
Ab3
F4
B5
G6
Vibrato is inherent to a player's technique and each player executes variable amounts depending upon interpretative intentions. It is possible to execute vibrato on open strings, but this is not normally done unless specifically requested.
non vibrato
no undulation in pitch
non vib
Ab3
F4
B5
G6
Must be specified. Players will sometimes add tiny amounts of vibrato even to passages marked non vib depending on musical interpretation
glissando
a continuous slide in pitch

glissando
Ab3-Bb3
Db4-F4
Bb4-E5
B5-G6

G6-Bb5
Bb5-C5
C5-Db4

Saint-Saëns Le Carnival des Animaux ('Personnages à longues oreilles')

Consider rate of glide, start and end points.

Plucked glissandi are also possible.

harmonic glissando
a continuous slide while lightly touching string
G-string
D-string
A-string
E-string
The pitches are distinct and can be controlled to a fair extent. Nevertheless, this is an effect that works best done quite quickly.
portamento
a slide from one pitch to another, usually stopping for moment either above or below the destination pitch

portamento

downwards
upwards

Essentially an expressive device which was very popular in the 19th and early 20th centuries, but has more recently fallen into disuse
trill
a rapid alteration between two pitches either a tone (major trill) or a semitone (minor trill) apart

this shows a minor trill followed by a major trill, indicated by accidentals over the note. If these are not given, players will choose trill type based on musical context. The wavy lines indicating duration of trill are also optional.

Trills:
Ab3
F4
E5
G6

 

In highly chromatic music, it is a good idea to specify the pitch onto which the trill is made in brackets after the note

fingered tremolo

a trill between two notes more than a tone apart.
  This is an unmeasured tremolo and lasts two beats. A measured tremolo is simply an alteration between the two notes in regular note values and is usually notated as such.
bariolage
a colouristic technique of using lower pitched strings for higher notes in a passage
indicate fingerings over notes, with string names if necessary
  Obviously presents technical challenges and is probably most effective in solo writing