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The Bow, Its History, Manufacture and Use 'The Strad' Library, No. III.   By: (1866-1917)

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First Page:

THE BOW, ITS HISTORY, MANUFACTURE AND USE.

Printed in Great Britain by J. H. Lavender and Co., 2, Duncan Terrace, City Road, London, N.I.

[Frontispiece: HENRY SAINT GEORGE.]

"THE STRAD" LIBRARY, No. III. THE BOW, ITS HISTORY, MANUFACTURE AND USE

BY

HENRY SAINT GEORGE

ILLUSTRATED BY THE AUTHOR

THIRD EDITION

London: HORACE MARSHALL & SON, 46, Farringdon Street, E.C.4.

New York: CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS, 597 599, Fifth Avenue.

1922.

PREFACE.

It has always appeared to me a curious thing that the bow, without which the fiddle could have no being, should have received so scant attention, not alone from the community of fiddlers, but also from writers on the subject. I only know of one book in which the subject is adequately handled. Out of every twenty violinists who profess to some knowledge of the various types of Cremonese and other fiddles of repute and value, barely three will be met with who take a similar interest in the bow beyond knowing a good one, or rather one that suits their particular physique, when playing with it. They are all familiar with the names of Dodd and Tourte, but it is seldom that their knowledge extends beyond the names. As for a perception of the characteristics of bows as works of art, which is the standard of the fiddle connoisseur, it hardly has any existence outside the small circle of bow makers. Of the large number of undoubted fiddle experts now in London, but a small proportion profess to any similar knowledge of bows, and of these there are but few who can be credited with real authority in the matter.

It is, therefore, with the object of bringing the bow into more general notice that this little book has been written, and, to drop into the good old prefatory style, if I succeed in arousing the interest of but one violinist in the bow for itself, and apart from its work, my efforts will not have been in vain.

My most hearty thanks are due to those who have so kindly assisted me in my work. To Messrs. W. E. Hill and Sons, Mr. E. Withers, Mr. F. W. Chanot, Mr. J. Chanot, and Messrs. Beare, Goodwin and Co. , for the loan of valuable bows for the purpose of illustration, and Mr. A. Tubbs , who, in addition to similar favours, most kindly placed much of his valuable time at my disposal, and very patiently helped me to a sufficient understanding of the bow maker's craft for the purpose of collecting materials for the second part of the book.

The third part, in which I treat of the use of the bow, I have purposely avoided making a systematic handbook of bowing technique, for to handle that subject as exhaustively as I should wish would require a separate volume. As stated in Chapter XIV., that portion of the book is addressed almost exclusively to teachers, and in the few cases where I have gone into questions of technique it has been limited to those points that appear to be most neglected or misunderstood by the generality of teachers.

"Anything that is worth doing is worth doing well" is a maxim that teachers should hold up to themselves and their pupils, and this reminds me of an exhortation to that effect in "Musick's Monument," that quaint and pathetic book of Thomas Mace (1676) with which I cannot do better than end my already too extensive preamble.

"Now being Thus far ready for Exercise , attempt the Striking of your Strings ; but before you do That , Arm yourself with Preparative Resolutions to gain a Handsome Smooth Sweet Smart Clear Stroak ; or else Play not at all."

CONTENTS.

PART I. The History of the Bow .

CHAPTER I. PAGE ORIGIN OF INSTRUMENTS. FRICTIONAL VIBRATION. THE BOW DISTINCT FROM THE PLECTRUM. THE TRIGONON. BOWING WITH VARIOUS OBJECTS . . 1

CHAPTER II. ORIENTAL ORIGIN OF THE BOW. INDIAN, CHINESE AND OTHER EASTERN BOWED INSTRUMENTS . . . . . . . ... Continue reading book >>




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