Up bow

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A representation of an up-bow mark on a staff
The position of the frog on the bow

An up-bow is a type of stroke used when bowing a musical instrument, most often a string instrument. The player draws the bow upward or to the left across the instrument, moving the point of contact from the bow's tip toward the frog (the end of the bow held by the player).[1]

Instruments[edit]

How the up-bow is achieved varies depending on the shape and orientation of the instrument.

Instrument How the player achieves the up-bow
Violin The player pushes the bow up, toward the left shoulder
Viola The player pushes the bow up, toward the left shoulder
Cello The player pushes the bow to the left, toward the left elbow
Double bass The player pushes the bow to the left, toward the left elbow

Uses[edit]

String players can exert stronger pressure on the string when bowing near the frog than when bowing near the tip, due to the bowing hand's proximity to the bow's contact point with the string. Up-bows, which begin near the tip, are therefore often used to play the upbeats (weaker beats) within a musical phrase. Notes that begin quietly and crescendo are also ideally up-bowed — from tip to frog — allowing pressure on the string to increase naturally.

See also[edit]

References[edit]