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do you play violin?
Old 02-04-2019, 01:19 PM   #1
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do you play violin?

I now have a lot of time so I watch and listen to symphony from youtube.

I think when playing a violin, pulling and pushing the strings should make the some sound? Or maybe not?

In a symphony, there are 20, 30 violinists. No matter how fast or slow they play, they all move in the same direction (pull or push). I have never seen anyone doing the wrong direction. So, does the music notes they use indicate pull or push direction much like the kids' piano book marking down which finger # to play?
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Old 02-04-2019, 01:39 PM   #2
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My daughter plays viola and violin; my knowledge is secondhand via her.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fh2000 View Post
I now have a lot of time so I watch and listen to symphony from youtube.

I think when playing a violin, pulling and pushing the strings should make the some sound? Or maybe not?
Yes. The pitch of the note will be the same whether the bow is moving downward or upward. In fact, for a really long note, you may see the player change direction with the bow in the middle of the note.

The pitch only depends on the string (or sometimes strings) being played, the location of the bow on the string, and the position of the string player's finger on the fingerboard. (Well, and of course how tight or loose the string itself is due to the pegs when the instrument is tuned before playing.)

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Originally Posted by fh2000 View Post
In a symphony, there are 20, 30 violinists. No matter how fast or slow they play, they all move in the same direction (pull or push). I have never seen anyone doing the wrong direction. So, does the music notes they use indicate pull or push direction much like the kids' piano book marking down which finger # to play?
Yes. There are markings in the music indicating whether it is supposed to be a down bow or up bow. I think there are also conventions about when they reverse direction, which might be related to the length and loudness of the various note sequences.

When the musicians practice, they'll sometimes discuss how the bowing "should" go, and they're all supposed to play it the same way. Generally, professional musicians can and do. If you watch YouTube videos of junior high orchestras, you'll see some kids bowing in the opposite direction from each other :-)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bow_stroke
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Old 02-04-2019, 02:34 PM   #3
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Not a violinist but used to make my living playing in orchestras...

Generally speaking the upbow is going to be weaker than the downbow, so the downbow is more often used for an accented note. When there are long sequences of fast running notes then the consideration is just how many notes do you want to fit in one direction while maintaining the desired volume and when to change directions to make the rest of the sequence fit right.

The composers didn't necessarily write in the bowing directions, it's up to the concertmaster (lead violinist) to mark the chosen bowings in his/her part and the librarian will copy them to the rest of the string parts. Then sometimes in rehearsal you might see the conductor changing something and they will all write it in as instructed.
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