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The Performance of Bow Changes: Some Mechanical Aspects

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In the playing of bowed-string instruments, bow changes are subtle technical gestures that are used to reverse the bowing direction, from up-bow to down-bow or the other way around. In this study, simulations are performed with a simple control model of the change in order to examine the characteristic features involved in the reversal of direction. The operating parameters of this model are the bow deceleration before zero bow velocity and the subsequent bow acceleration, while the other bowing parameters are kept constant. The simulations show optimal areas in the space of control parameters, where the probability to produce a subsequent Helmholtz motion is higher. Further developments based on Guettler's analysis of simple attacks show that these optimal areas are closely linked to the specific shape of the oscillation remaining from the previous note ending. Finally, we discuss some gestural strategies that can be used by players to reduce possible interferences between the remaining oscillations and the subsequent attack.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2015

More about this publication?
  • Acta Acustica united with Acustica, published together with the European Acoustics Association (EAA), is an international, peer-reviewed journal on acoustics. It publishes original articles on all subjects in the field of acoustics, such as general linear acoustics, nonlinear acoustics, macrosonics, flow acoustics, atmospheric sound, underwater sound, ultrasonics, physical acoustics, structural acoustics, noise control, active control, environmental noise, building acoustics, room acoustics, acoustic materials, acoustic signal processing, computational and numerical acoustics, hearing, audiology and psychoacoustics, speech, musical acoustics, electroacoustics, auditory quality of systems. It reports on original scientific research in acoustics and on engineering applications. The journal considers scientific papers, technical and applied papers, book reviews, short communications, doctoral thesis abstracts, etc. In irregular intervals also special issues and review articles are published.
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