Exploring the Baroque Bass Bow

I recently acquired a new baroque bass bow, which I’m delighted to begin using.  Recently, I’ve been trying out this bow in preparation of a performance of Bach’s Suite #1 in G major.  Also, I had the exciting opportunity to use this Baroque bow last week with the UT Bach Cantata Project as we performed Cantata BWV111 in the atrium of the Blanton Museum of Art here on the campus of the University of Texas.

Here are some close-up photos of the bow.  You’ll immediately notice the differences from my modern French bow.

One of the few things I’ve had to adjust to is getting the ‘right’ kind of bow hold.  Now, it would be accurate for the Baroque time period to hold the bow closer to the balance point on the stick, which actually makes it easier to play faster notes typical of the Baroque, however it becomes a challenge to create a fuller sound because you loose the arm weight and power at the frog.  Over the weeks and months ahead hopefully I’ll develop a better sense of how to create the right kind of sound.


About tunedin4ths

David Ballam Doctoral Student at the University of Texas at Austin Doublebass Instructor: UT String Project & Round Rock School District BLOG: https://tunedin4ths.wordpress.com/ WEB: https://ballam.musicteachershelper.com
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