Chapter

String Instruments

Knut Guettler and Susan Hallam

in The Science & Psychology of Music Performance

Published in print April 2002 | ISBN: 9780195138108
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849291 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195138108.003.0019
String Instruments

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Research on the physics of bowed stringed instruments can help the string teacher to explain the underlying acoustical phenomena and to develop corresponding pedagogical strategies. The first part of this chapter surveys current and historical acoustical research, focusing on information that can be related to technique. It discusses not only the bowed attack with specific exercises to improve performance, but also other topics such as harmonics, rosin, timbre, and aspects of room acoustics during performance. This is followed by an overview of psychological research relating to the distinctive aspects of playing a bowed stringed instrument and the characteristics of string players. It considers the importance of well developed aural skills, practice, and conscientiousness on the part of the player to develop high levels of expertise. The need for the teacher to demonstrate and provide opportunities to develop aural schemata, and give detailed constructive feedback is also discussed.

Keywords: stringed instruments; timbre; acoustical research; bowed attack; musical performance; string players

Chapter.  6429 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Music Theory and Analysis

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