Where to buy a decent baroque bow?
I am wondering if anyone might have tips on where to find a decent baroque bow.
I am a professional player, but am looking for something to get my feet wet so far as baroque bows go, and a bow that won't break the bank. I can splurge on a more expensive one if I really take to the style. Can I get something playable in the 100-300$ range?
I live on the east coast and would be willing to drive to NYC or Philly for a bow, but wouldn't be against purchasing online from a recommended seller that has given good experiences to other customers.
Thanks in advance!
Hey James, if you can managed one day to travel to NYC, why don't you give Gabriella a call or visit (www.gabrielasbaroque.com).
Thanks, I'll check her out!
I’d start here:
There are a wide range of lengths, and weights in baroque bows. I agree that it is advisable to find a shop or maybe a HIP department to try several out of each type.
I'd really like to learn, from experts, what the difference between a high end baroque bow and a lower end one is.
I highly recommend Rodney Mohr and his daughter, Kate (website Mohr and Mohr). I got a bow from each on trial (the daughter's bow was half the price of Rodney's bow) and I liked both so much--they were so different!--that I bought both. I also recommend Aaron Fini (Baltimore), who made my Baroque cello bow; it is amazing. So far, I don't have a Baroque viola bow, but I am sure that's next. Once you discover the wonderful maneuverability of the Baroque bow, and want to trade up, you will be hard pressed to retrieve the value of a low price range bow. I think you will need to start at $1200 to achieve and realize the difference between your modern bow and your "new" Baroque bow. Good luck!
Adam LaMotte is a pro baroque player who sells selected Chinese bows. If you can't try some live and end up tempted to order something you might talk to him about your needs.
We have two of the cheaper Chinese Baroque bows, both in the $100-150 range. They are fine if you tighten them a lot and they definitely will give you the general feeling of playing a Baroque bow. But having played a few times on a really nice Baroque bow, the sound quality isn't the same. My kids use them as a learning tool but don't usually perform on them.
I bought the $150 snakewood baroque bow from Shar just to "get my feet wet". I actually like it quite a lot.
"I'd really like to learn, from experts, what the difference between a high end baroque bow and a lower end one is."
Some really interesting, great replies. Thank you all!
I've a friend, a wonderful violinist now a section player in a big orchestra who tried a fantastic baroque bow by a highly regarded maker, and said I don't get it, and I suspect my friend simply think it's bad. And that's alright. It's fascinating to see and hear people of different backgrounds reacting to equipment.
Great point, Dorian; the buyer gets a better deal on a Baroque bow than on a modern bow in the same price range. I don't know why, but it means you don't have to spend as much to get a superior Baroque bow as you do for a good modern bow.
From a modern maker, a baroque bow is about half the price of a contemporary bow. There is no metal work and takes just less than half the time.
Many people have mentioned inexpensive bows, myself included. Do consider that bows require maintenance. If you buy a cheap one, you will still pay full price to rehair it.
Can you get CF baroque bows?
"Can you get CF baroque bows?"
If you get the opportunity, have a look at a snakewood baroque bow. It will probably cost more than a regular baroque bow because it is an expensive wood. Being snakewood, it is stiffer, a little heavier (perhaps 61gm as against 56gm of non-snakewood?), seems to add something to the tone - brighter perhaps on an old violin such as mine, and is a real pleasure to use.
That would rule out what the Chinese sources are calling snakewood, my experience with it is that its quite light and weak.
Yes, snakewood is surprisingly heavy and still sprightly! How does that work??
Historical baroque bows and the bows modeled after them are very light. Speaking in grams, many early 18th c. baroque long violin bows weigh in the 40s, which fits with the few surviving original late 17th c. short violin bows usually being around 30. The late baroque style violin bows attributed to Nicholas Pierre Tourte from the 1740s tend to be right around 50.
I played around with a "baroque" bow from Yitamusic for while, but came to the conclusion that using a "baroque" bow doesn't make a great deal of sense unless you also have a "baroque" violin, not to say a "baroque" technique. The hat is optional.
And a baroque conductor and a baroque audience and baroque clothing and a baroque milieu and...
I recall watching the violinists at a concert by the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 12 years ago and noting the way some of the violinists held their bows some distance from the frog. That would definitely change the balance of the bow to the hand and the effective force ("weight") of the bow on the strings.
I have a different opinion from Steve and would point out one can learn and do much with a Baroque bow on a modern violin (think Le Violon du Roi in Quebec, an orchestra that performs with Baroque bows on modern instruments).
No endpin for the cellists, either. :-)
What does the tailgut attach too??????
The end BUTTON. ;-)
its called the endpin
"its called the endpin"
On violin its called an endpin, the same would be true on a baroque cello. The button is the part of the back that's glued onto the neck heel.
In my lifetime as a cellist I've heard the cello spike + button combination referred to as "endpin assembly". This nomenclature is important because the cello end button differs fundamentally in its design from a violin's end button. The cello end button further has an axial hole to accommodate the spike, together with a screw mechanism to enable adjustment of the spike and to hold it in place when adjusted. The end button on both instruments was originally designed for the tailpiece cord, and still is.
Trevor--the complication is that about half the time the violin end button is called an endpin too. If Lyndon were framing his statements as arguments for how things ought to be in order to avoid confusion, he'd be saying something worth considering. But, as will not surprise most people, there is often a difference between what ought to be and what actually is the case.
It probably doesn't help with music nomenclature that terms can vary across the globe. I'm in the UK and use words that are prevalent in my country, which are not necessarily the same as those in the US.