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How long can violists and cellists hold out notes for?


MiggTorr
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Hi, I was wondering if anyone out there could tell me the absolute maximum length of time (in seconds) that a violinist, violist, cellist, and double bass-ist, can hold out a note for. I'm also wondering how dynamics affect how long a note can be held for.

My main concern is with the viola and the cello, but it would be nice to know for all four, just for future reference.

--Thanks!

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For Professionals, I'd say that 40 seconds max, but remember as slower you move the bow, weaker will be the sound, you can add preasure but it always looses power.

Now, 40 seconds is an eternity even for a pro player, don't write a work full of those eternal notes sweat.gif .

The whole matter becomes easier if we talk about 'sustained' bows (correct me if I'm wrong) aka, "Son File" "Lissio"

Is when you change the bow direction without a notorious change, Gorecki Sym.3 has some reeeeeeally long notes for strings and is understood will be played with "sustained bows" even if the score doesn't mention it.

Is difficult to make a bow direction change without a minimum interruption, but usually the effect of true sustain is because the several players of the string section make that change at slightly different moments. For solo Violin, the solist would have to be very good.

Amateur players ? they make interruptions even within the same bow tongueanti.gif

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There really is no limit actually. String players are able to make a bow change sound smoothly without any interruption so you can slur your hearts content if you like. If you're going to notate a long passage of slurred/tied notes, what I do is put the up bow or down bow indicator where I want them. The slur/tie is good indication that you want a smooth transition.

For a LONG, one bow stroke.. I can hold mine for about 1 1/2 mins. I could probably go higher than that... just my arm gets tired!

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Awesome awesome awesome. Thank you SYS65 and jawoodruff. That's exactly what I wanted to know. Would you say that if a solo player were to use sustained bowing the interruption would be less noticeable if it happens when other instruments change notes?

A slower player using sustained bowing is fine as long as you make sure to note that you DONT want a noticeable bow change.

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I can hold mine for about 1 1/2 mins. I could probably go higher than that... just my arm gets tired!

Wow Jason, that's very slow, it needs a LOT of .... (what word you use in english to that thing you put in the bow strings ? I know Pez, Colofonia, Perrubia, Resma, Rosin)

Migg,

There is a very good version of the "A.Berg - Violin Concert" Live Recorded in Video with Gidon Kremer solist, and Sir Colin Davis conductor (don't recall which orchestra) and last note at the end of the concert is a super high B natural (the last but one key in the piano) that is played for long (is molto adagio).

That super high note, in violin solo, in pp, + vibrato is extremely difficult but not impossible (Kremer is trully good), I hope you can get that video and watch G.Kremer movements, he does at least 2 bow changes.

Remember in Violin the limitations are in the player, not the instrument, (the high range capability is the most common issue concerning the player not the Violin)

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Sys,in English it's rosin.

And as far as this topic goes: Don't be afraid to notate long bows when necessary. For example, if you want a note to be sustained for a long time, simply tie it together. You could even put down/up bow markings on the tied notes to indicate when you want the players to shift bows, which should hardly be noticeable in an orchestral setting. As far as solo passages go, slurring a huge passage is possible, and the player would change bows when appropriate. But a note of caution: As a general rule, it is best to use more, fuller bows then to strain the bow out over a long period of time, because (I'm sure great players are exceptions to this) it generally produces a better, fuller tone when more bow is used.

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Keep in mind that it also depends which string you're on, as it takes allooott more bow to get a g string on a violin sounding decent than it would take for an e.

Oh yes, and the arm position in G string makes you tired in less time.

EDIT:

4th string for Violin(G)-Viola©, and 1st string for Cello(A)-Bass(G)

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