The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

Bow Testing and Composition

bowtest - short violin bow with salt-and-pepper horsehair;
standard violin bow with white horsehair; both over a 100
years old; viola and rababa;
salt and pepper - salt-and-pepper bow; viola; composition

the labor of this musician, testing new hair (salt-and-pepper)
on a bow; the black hair is rougher with more byte; it's mixed
with white hair which has a smoother, calmer sound (less grit,
less highs that can sound almost over-modulated). in bowtest,
i switch between bows and instruments, doing some of the worst
playing, but listening for the glitches; in saltandpepper, i use
the new bowhair on a viola piece that takes advantage of the
difference. this is the kind of behind-the-scenes labor that
everyone does, tending to the instruments and their potentials.
listen at least to the short final piece if you have the time.

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