Glossary

Arm steering

The movement of the left arm under and around the violin.

Balance point

The place along the bow where the weight is evenly balanced.

Base joint

The part of the finger where it joins the palm of the hand. (Also ‘Base knuckle’)

Base knuckle

The part of the finger where it joins the palm of the hand. (Also ‘Base joint’)

Bow division

Dividing the bowstroke into fractions of the length of the bow.

Chain bowing

Overlapping bowing, where you bow across the shift.

Collé

A short quick action that requires a clear connection and then leaving of the string so that the note will ring on after the bow… Read More »Collé

Détaché

A family of bow-strokes, played on-the-string and having a change of bowing direction with the articulation of each note.

Double contact

The contact of the left hand at the violin neck with both the left thumb and the index finger.

Fingerfall

The placing and lifting of fingers on the fingerboard. (Also ‘Finger action’)

Friction

The degree of contact between bowhair and string.

Frog

The end of the bow that houses the screw mechanism, where the hand holds the bow. (Also ‘Heel’ or ‘Nut’)

Harmonic touch

Release of playing pressure with the finger while still touching the string. This is the contact used when playing harmonics.

Heel

The end of the bow that houses the screw mechanism, where the hand holds the bow. (Also ‘Frog’ or ‘Nut’)

Martelé

To begin the note the bow grips the string followed by a release during the stroke. Aim for a short sound with lots of resonance.

Moto perpetuo

(Italian: Perpetual motion) A piece of music where the tune is constantly moving, usually at a rapid tempo.

Nail joint

End joint of finger with fingernail and fingertip.

Nut

The end of the bow that houses the screw mechanism, where the hand holds the bow. (Also ‘Heel’ or ‘Frog’)

Overtones

The sound vibrations in a note that are at a higher frequency than the lowest frequency.

Passagework

A virtuosic passage in a musical work, often featuring scales and runs.

Point of contact

The pathway of the bowstroke in relation to bridge and fingerboard.