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A systematic approach to bowing and its application in violin playing


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De Ridder, KZ ORCID: 0000-0002-0841-1416 2020 , 'A systematic approach to bowing and its application in violin playing', PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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The aim of this research was to formulate systematic studies for the right-arm to achieve finer outcomes in violin performance.
As modern violin practice involves the marking of numerical symbols on the score to indicate left-hand ‘fingerings’ it is necessary to question why no equivalent system is utilised for the training of the right-arm. Although a system for the notation of bow divisions was formulated by French violinist Lucien Capet over one hundred years ago, its use is virtually unidentified in modern violin playing and teaching.
The research method adopted in this project was performance-oriented and focused on incorporating Capet’s eight-part bow division notation system into daily analytical practise allowing for core movements of the right-arm and the distribution of the bow to be documented and made habitual for the performance situation. Critical reflections on the process and specifically the application into key performance repertoire are provided in this exegesis, which contextualises the research conducted. The exegesis and folio of performances are equally weighted (50/50) for examination.
The associated performance folio contains recordings of various solo and chamber works by composers Bach, Mozart, Ysaÿe, Brahms, Handel, Debussy, Franck, Strauss, Gragnani, Weber, Charlton and De Falla.
The findings of this study were that setting parameters for bow distribution generated a higher level of response to address combinations of colour, timbre, mood and articulation. Notation of bow distribution is not to be understood as a rigid barrier or impediment to personal expression. On the contrary, once habitualised, it provides full awareness and control of the right arm, resulting in a refined, and highly nuanced regulation of sound to convey the desired musical expression.

Item Type: Thesis - PhD
Authors/Creators:De Ridder, KZ
Keywords: violin performance, bow distribution, capet, analysis, notating
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Copyright 2020 the author

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