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).
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 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.
The cello ( CHEL-oh; plural cellos or celli) or violoncello ( VY-ə-lən-CHEL-oh; Italian pronunciation: [vjolonˈtʃɛllo]) is a string instrument. It is played by bowing or plucking its four strings, which are usually tuned in perfect fifths an octave lower than the viola: from low to high, C2, G2, D3 and A3. It is the bass member of the violin family, which also includes the violin, viola and the double bass, which doubles the bass line an octave lower than the cello in much of the orchestral repertoire. After the double bass, it is the second-largest and second lowest (in pitch) bowed string instrument in the modern symphony orchestra. The cello is used as a solo instrument, as well as in chamber music ensembles (e.g., string quartet), string orchestras, as a member of the string section of symphony orchestras, most modern Chinese orchestras, and some types of rock bands.
The violin, sometimes known as a fiddle, is a wooden string instrument in the violin family. Most violins have a hollow wooden body. It is the smallest and highest-pitched instrument in the family in regular use. Smaller violin-type instruments exist, including the violino piccolo and the kit violin, but these are virtually unused. The violin typically has four strings tuned in perfect fifths, and is most commonly played by drawing a bow across its strings, though it can also be played by plucking the strings with the fingers (pizzicato) and by striking the strings with the wooden side of the bow.
A harmonic is any member of the harmonic series. The term is employed in various disciplines, including music, physics, acoustics, electronic power transmission, radio technology, and other fields. It is typically applied to repeating signals, such as sinusoidal waves. A harmonic of such a wave is a wave with a frequency that is a positive integer multiple of the frequency of the original wave, known as the fundamental frequency. The original wave is also called the 1st harmonic, the following harmonics are known as higher harmonics. As all harmonics are periodic at the fundamental frequency, the sum of harmonics is also periodic at that frequency. For example, if the fundamental frequency is 50 Hz, a common AC power supply frequency, the frequencies of the first three higher harmonics are 100 Hz, 150 Hz, 200 Hz and any addition of waves with these frequencies is periodic at 50 Hz.
An nth characteristic mode, for n > 1, will have nodes that are not vibrating. For example, the 3rd characteristic mode will have nodes at L and L, where L is the length of the string. In fact, each nth characteristic mode, for n not a multiple of 3, will not have nodes at these points. These other characteristic modes will be vibrating at the positions L and L. If the player gently touches one of these positions, then these other characteristic modes will be suppressed. The tonal harmonics from these other characteristic modes will then also be suppressed. Consequently, the tonal harmonics from the nth characteristic modes, where n is a multiple of 3, will be made relatively more prominent.
Pizzicato is a playing technique that involves plucking the strings of a string instrument. The exact technique varies somewhat depending on the type of instrument:
In music, tremolo, or tremolando, is a trembling effect. There are two types of tremolo.
A pull-off is a stringed instrument plucking technique performed by "pulling" the finger off a string off the fingerboard of either a fretted or unfretted instrument.
The erhu, or urheen, is a two-stringed bowed musical instrument, more specifically a spike fiddle, which may also be called a Southern Fiddle, and sometimes known in the Western world as the Chinese violin or a Chinese two-stringed fiddle.
A Baroque violin is a violin set up in the manner of the baroque period of music. The term includes original instruments which have survived unmodified since the Baroque period, as well as later instruments adjusted to the baroque setup, and modern replicas. Baroque violins have become relatively common in recent decades thanks to historically informed performance, with violinists returning to older models of instrument to achieve an authentic sound.
Keyboard expression is the ability of a keyboard musical instrument to respond to change tone or other qualities of the sound in response to velocity, pressure or other variations in how the performer depresses the keys of the musical keyboard. Expression types include:
In music, articulation is the direction or performance technique which affects the transition or continuity on a single note or between multiple notes or sounds. Articulation involves subtle differences within duration, amplitude, meter, and, through techniques such as tremolo and pitch.
The bowed psaltery is a type of psaltery or zither that is played with a bow. In contrast with the centuries-old plucked psaltery, the bowed psaltery appears to be a 20th-century invention.
Playing the violin entails holding the instrument under the chin, supported by the left shoulder. The strings are sounded either by drawing the bow across them (arco), or by plucking them (pizzicato). The left hand regulates the sounding length of the strings by stopping them against the fingerboard with the fingers, producing different notes.
In classical guitar, the right hand is developed in such a way that it can sustain two, three, and four voice harmonies while also paying special attention to tone production. The index (i), middle (m), and ring (a) fingers are generally used to play the melody, while the thumb (p) accompanies in the bass register adding harmony, and produces a comparable texture and effect to that of the piano. The classical guitar is one of the very few solo polyphonic instruments, and is notoriously difficult to master.
Martelé, literally "hammered," is a bowstroke, used when playing bowed string instruments, though the Italian martellando and martellato are also applied to piano and vocal technique, and even to the organ. The effect is usually produced by holding the bow against the string with pressure, then releasing it explosively to produce a sharp, biting attack with a rest between strokes. Some violinists use it when playing staccato notes.
String instruments are capable of producing a variety of extended technique sounds. These alternative playing techniques have been used extensively since the 20th century. Particularly famous examples of string instrument extended technique can be found in the music of Krzysztof Penderecki, Witold Lutosławski, George Crumb, and Helmut Lachenmann.
A bow maker is a person who builds, repairs, and restores ancient or modern bows for bowed string instruments. These include violins, violas, cellos, double basses, viola d'amore, viola da gamba, etc.
The Cretan lyra is a Greek pear-shaped, three-stringed bowed musical instrument, central to the traditional music of Crete and other islands in the Dodecanese and the Aegean Archipelago, in Greece. The Cretan lyra is considered to be the most popular surviving form of the medieval Byzantine lyra, an ancestor of most European bowed instruments.
Playing the cello is done while seated with the instrument supported on the floor. The fingertips of the left hand stop the strings on the fingerboard to determine the pitch of the fingered note. The right hand plucks or bows the strings to sound the notes.