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Anne aMaudPowellFan

Beth, that is a very clear explanation of the right proportions of speed, weight and sounding point. It is a new insight for me: The hardness / softness of the string close to / away from the bridge necessitates more / less weight. I also find it intuitive that if you move closer to the bridge, the bow needs to get heavier and slower, and if you move towards the fingerboard, it needs to get lighter and faster.

Now, I know that if you stay on one sounding point and you move the bow faster it also has to get heavier, and if it moves slower it has to get lighter. I know that this is the case, but I have no intuition why that is the case. Can you help? Or am I just being dense?

Anne aMaudPowellFan
4 Responses
Posted: April 19, 2011
Last Comment: April 20, 2011

Beth Blackerby
Posted: April 20, 2011
What a great article. Still a little over my head, but I feel like I've learned something new: the Helmholtz corner. Thanks for sharing. I'm going to add a new category to the Resources page: "Articles" and post the link.

Posted: April 20, 2011

A while ago I found this interesting article, probably worth sharing in this discussion:

Whole text is worth a read but the part which relates to this subject is in chapter:
"The motion of a bowed string"

Posted: April 20, 2011
Beth, you have a gift for word pictures....that's perfect !

Beth Blackerby
Posted: April 20, 2011
Those of us who don't have physics degrees are all in the same boat. I don't fully understand the physics of sound and the unique dynamic laws that exist between the strings and the hair of the bow. But I liken the pressure/speed relationship to trying to drive a car up a slippery hill. If you spin the wheels to fast, the tread of tires won't grab the road, and the car "skates". However if you go slower or weight the car down, you get more traction. And the better the treads on the tire (rosin and fresh bow hair) the better the tires will grab too. Does that make any sense?