Up bow

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A representation of an up-bow mark on a staff
Violin bow parts.jpg
The position of the frog on the bow

An up-bow is a type of stroke used when bowing a musical instrument, most often a string instrument. The player draws the bow upward or to the left across the instrument, moving the point of contact from the bow's tip toward the frog (the end of the bow held by the player). [1]

Musical instrument History and classification

A musical instrument is an instrument created or adapted to make musical sounds. In principle, any object that produces sound can be considered a musical instrument—it is through purpose that the object becomes a musical instrument. The history of musical instruments dates to the beginnings of human culture. Early musical instruments may have been used for ritual, such as a trumpet to signal success on the hunt, or a drum in a religious ceremony. Cultures eventually developed composition and performance of melodies for entertainment. Musical instruments evolved in step with changing applications.

String instrument musical instrument that generates tones by one or more strings stretched between two points

String instruments, stringed instruments, or chordophones are musical instruments that produce sound from vibrating strings when the performer plays or sounds the strings in some manner.

In music, a bow is a tensioned stick with hair affixed to it that is moved across some part of a musical instrument to cause vibration, which the instrument emits as sound. The vast majority of bows are used with string instruments, such as the violin, although some bows are used with musical saws and other bowed idiophones.



How the up-bow is achieved varies depending on the shape and orientation of the instrument.

Instrument How the player achieves the up-bow
Violin The player pushes the bow up, toward the left shoulder
Viola The player pushes the bow up, toward the left shoulder
Cello The player pushes the bow to the left, toward the left elbow
Double bass The player pushes the bow to the left, toward the left elbow


String players can exert stronger pressure on the string when bowing near the frog than when bowing near the tip, due to the bowing hand's proximity to the bow's contact point with the string. Up-bows, which begin near the tip, are therefore often used to play the upbeats (weaker beats) within a musical phrase. Notes that begin quietly and crescendo are also ideally up-bowed — from tip to frog — allowing pressure on the string to increase naturally.

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