Beginning the Bow Arm's Motion - How to Start with a Clear Sound  border=0 align=

Beginning the Bow Arm's Motion - How to Start with a Clear Sound

April 10, 2021, 7:49 PM · Certain aspects of the bow - its nature and behavior – are uniformly important, however you hold the bow. For example, you can hold the bow in the Russian style, in which the wrist is higher and the hand is slightly slanted; or you can use the Franco-Belgian, with the wrist flatter and the hand generally parallel to the stick. My favorite bow hold, though, is the one that evolves from the player’s predilections and personality. No matter how you hold the bow, we all have one thing in common: the need to produce a sweet, human sound, one that is reliable and free of cracks. Understanding the bow’s properties helps avoid pitfalls and clears the path. Keep reading...

Comments (1) weekend vote: Is quantity or quality more important in music practice?

April 10, 2021, 4:30 PM · You've heard of those amazing violinists, pianists and other instrumentalists who practiced six hours a day to achieve dazzling technique and prowess on the instrument. Whoa, six hours a day!? Is that necessary? Or would quality time be more important?

This vote aims to foster a conversation about quality and quantity, and even though I recognize both are important, I'm not listing "both" as an option. For the vote, please pick the one that feels most important to you at this stage in your playing (or in your teaching). For example, if you have not been able to devote enough time to practice, "quantity" might be the current priority. Or if you have found yourself spacily running through old, familiar things and not challenging yourself, maybe "quality" is something you feel you need to focus on more. Or, maybe you are seeing trends in students that make you lean toward one or the other at the moment. Please participate in the vote, and then tell us your thoughts and experiences about quantity vs. quality.

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For the Record, Op. 152: Augustin Hadelich's Bach Sonatas and Partitas

April 7, 2021, 11:38 PM · Welcome to "For the Record,"'s weekly roundup of new releases of recordings by violinists, violists, cellists and other classical musicians. We hope it helps you keep track of your favorite artists, as well as find some new ones to add to your listening!

Bach - Sonatas & Partitas for Solo Violin
Augustin Hadelich, violin

For Augustin Hadelich, lockdown was the perfect time to delve into Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin and to undertake the enormous project of recording the whole set. “Recording Bach’s complete Six Sonatas and Partitas has long been a dream of mine,” Augustin said. "They are formidable tests of technical ability and stamina, but also of musical imagination and expressive range – they never cease to provide challenges, hope, and joy.” For his interpretation, sensitive to historical practice, Hadelich chose to use a baroque bow. “It was a revelation," he says. "It felt liberating. Passages of three- and four-note chords felt more fluid. The dance movements danced more and the slow movements sang more." BELOW: Augustin performs the "Preludio" from Johann Sebastian Bach's Partita no. 3 in E Major:

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Violinist Nicola Benedetti and cellist Sheku-Kanneh Mason Explore the Psychology and Physicality of Playing

April 6, 2021, 10:12 PM · On Tuesday, violinist Nicola Benedetti interviewed cellist Sheku-Kanneh Mason about his philosophy of playing, both physically and mentally. Here is that interview:

Nicola's interview with Sheku-Kanneh was part of her ‘Building Foundations’ Virtual Sessions, which focus on wellness. For more, check her Youtube Channel, where she will continue to share a series of short interviews over the next couple of weeks on the topic of physicality and psychology of playing, talking with a variety of musicians.
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