I recently posted something about my bowing and a point was made about the bow having to be parallel to the bridge.
I am , however, being taught that the bow should be slightly pointing towards the upper bout of the violin, or slightly towards the fingerboard if you wish.
Incidentally, I came across this video of Julien Rachlin where he pretty much says exactly the same things as my teacher: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UBY2pxbKEII
ie that the sound is better when the bow points that way.
i also came across a passage in galamian's book where he says that at the square arm/bow position (approximately when the bow is halfway on the string) the bow is pointing slightly towards the fingerboard. He also states later on that although the perfectly straight bow forms the basis of the technique, that it is undeniable that a slight angle as described produces a better sound. Whereas the opposite angle would produce less sound (this my teacher also stated).
the issue then becomes how this entails specific conséquences in terms of bowing and possibly the violin position. With the angled bowing, on the down bow the arm system is relatively less positioned towards the front of the body which means that on the downbow, there is more allowance for the tip of the bow to point even more towards the fingerboard, if not slightly move towards it (which in straight bowing is sually compensated for by a pronated wrist along with a motion of the elbow outwards). I asked my teacher about this and he said that if you look at Stern (i think he referred to Stern) and some others, you see that the bow at its tip is moving like an arc sometimes and not like a straight bow. in terms of the position of the violin, this might explain why his emphasis on bringing it more frontally. On the upbow, you dont have as much of the feeling that youre pulling the bow in towards you in a straight line with all the required subtle path modifications done by the arm and the hand, but more like youre aiming for the upper bout of the violin.
(note: this also brings to mind also Drew Lecher's idea of crescent bowing. the difference being the halfway along the bow, on a down bow, the Crescent bow moves away from the body. actually, Im thinking in a way the crescent bow notion seems to marry some aspects of the both other mentioned bowings. )
I asked someone else who was totally of the straight bowing camp, he showed me the technique. To be honest, i felt that in stretching the arm there might be a bit more tension, for the lack of a better word. however, it is a more 'empowering' bowing (there is more force in the pronation and the arm generally) whereas the one at the angle feels lighter, less tense, bringing in the bow closer to the body than away from it on the downbow.
Anway, I am sure that a lot of what I said might be just me rambling and my fickle observation but I would really be interesting in hearing about how people here conceive of the importance of 'straight bowing' (ie parallel to bridge) or whether they advocate a slightly angles bowing.
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