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Topic: Pizzicato and other pecularities

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  1. #1

    Pizzicato and other pecularities

    Hi string players,

    pizzicato and down-/upbows are controlled in GPO by velocity. I was wondering how in real life the "audio-volume" was. The span? Can you really play a pp with pizzicato or downbow? Or is this span much narrower, like from mf to f ?

    I can imagine that there is some down and upper limit to this.

    Raymond

  2. #2

    Re: Pizzicato and other pecularities

    Yes, a pp pizz is possible, so is a pp down bow, although you would play at the tip rather than at the frog.
    It all depends on the skill of the player.

    JW.

  3. #3

    Re: Pizzicato and other pecularities

    Hi Raymond -

    Jeannot is correct. In fact, it's not unreasonable to have 'ppp' pizz and downbows.

    But keep in mind that dynamics are not absolute. There is no universal agreement about how loud or soft 'p' is. So what is considered 'p' in one piece might be 'ppp' in another piece. It's more a question of how much control a composer wants. Some composers are happy to leave the subtleties to the performer. Others want to specify everything.

    I've even seen ranges of 'ppppp' to 'fffff'. However, if you are writing 'fffff' violin harmonics, you are probably being a bit silly.

    - k
    "An artist is someone who produces things that people don't need to have, but that he - for some reason - thinks it would be a good idea to give them."

    - Andy Warhol

  4. #4

    Re: Pizzicato and other pecularities

    Thanks folks,

    there is always a minimum amount of force needed to set off the sound and a maximum possible without destroying the instrument. So I thought that it might be somewhere within 'P' and 'FF'. Or translated into velocities somewhere between "20' and "100".

    With pizzicato I was wondering how far the string can be stretched, because pizzicato is more or less plucking the string (stretching it a bit and letting it snap back).

    But as "Klassikal" told me, the notation of those "forces" can be very dfferent. I've seen Liszt transcriptions for piano (of course) with "fffff" in it.

    Raymond

  5. #5

    Re: Pizzicato and other pecularities

    With pizzicato I was wondering how far the string can be stretched, because pizzicato is more or less plucking the string (stretching it a bit and letting it snap back).
    The string can be stretched to the extent that the string bouncess off the fingerboard, i.e., the "snap" or "Bartok" pizzicato. Of course, one doesn't want to go overboard on this technique, especially with new strings, as they could go flat pretty quick.

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