Music Term: Springing stroke and thrown stroke
Springing stroke and thrown stroke
Definition and background:
French text says SAUTILLE. The terms "springing stroke" and "thrown stroke" are explained by Carl Flesch in his Art of Violin Playing book I page73. This is a great book, and my advice is to buy it and to read it form cover to cover. In the springing bow (sautille, exercise 16) the bow jumps but the hairs don't leave the string, the bow jumps by itself and you do not have the control of each individual stroke, let the bow bounce by itself. Keep your joints loose, pull the elbow in, so the bow is not totally parallel to the bridge and then give a sligthly slanted impulse to the fingers and bow. You must dig IN the string, do not try to lift the bow. The more you dig In, the more the bow will rebound, just think of a basket ball. But the actual hairs will not leave the string....(it is difficult to explain). As for thrown stroke, you control every individual stroke. Here the stick and the hairs will come off the string. Try to play strokes non parallel to the bridge. This time the elbow is not "in", so the axis of the curve that you describe with the bow is parallel to the bridge but the actual path that the bow follows is not. Imagine that instead of drawing a parallel stroke to the bridge you draw a line with the shape of a "C" (of course, the, opening, of the C is by the bridge's side). The shape of a C is not vertical (not only) but horizontal. In the extremes of the C your bow lands and takes off gently from the string. Of course you can do sautille or spiccato forte, piano, fast and slow. The more to the nut you play the louder and slower it will be (and conversely). You have to experiment this by yourself. Casortis exercises are just a small compendium, and they have exercises very easy and they have very difficult ones, you should not get discouraged, the difficult are really difficult. Try first to understand the difference between spiccato=thrown stroke= control of every stroke up & down and sautille= springing stroke= letting the bow to jump by itself and just giving a general impulse when needed. Then use it in musical context (Mozart sonatas and quartets, you should read them all,) Then try the difficult exercises. - Francisco Sard
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