Glossary

TermDefinition
Arm steeringThe movement of the left arm under and around the violin.
Balance pointThe place along the bow where the weight is evenly balanced.
Base joint, Base knuckleThe part of the finger where it joins the palm of the hand.
Bow divisionDividing the bowstroke into fractions of the length of the bow.
Chain bowingOverlapping bowing, where you bow across the shift.
Double contactThe contact of the left hand at the violin neck with both the left thumb and the index finger.
Finger action, FingerfallThe placing and lifting of fingers on the fingerboard.
FrictionThe degree of contact between bowhair and string.
Frog (Heel, Nut)The end of the bow that houses the screw mechanism, where the hand holds the bow.
Galamian 3-octave scalesAdded notes before and after the 3-octave scale make it divisible by 3 or 4.
Gigue, GigaMusic based on a lively dance, in compound rhythm.
GiveAllowing a joint of the body to be flexible, rather than holding it tight.
GlissandoAudible sliding between pitches.
Harmonic touchRelease of playing pressure with the finger while still touching the string. This is the contact used when playing harmonics.
Heel (Frog, Nut)The end of the bow that houses the screw mechanism, where the hand holds the bow.
Lower half (LH)The part of the bow between middle and frog.
MarteléTo 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 jointEnd joint of finger with fingernail and fingertip.
Nut (Frog, Heel)The end of the bow that houses the screw mechanism, where the hand holds the bow.
OvertonesThe sound vibrations in a note that are at a higher frequency than the lowest frequency.
PassageworkA virtuosic passage in a musical work, often featuring scales and runs.
PizzicatoPlucking the string.
Point of contactThe pathway of the bowstroke in relation to bridge and fingerboard.
PonticelloAt or very near the bridge. Bowstrokes made here give a glassy sound.
PortatoArticulation within a slur without lifting the bow from the string.
Practice breakA pause between groups of notes. This is inserted to monitor the group of notes just played and/or program the next group.
PronateTo rotate the hand and forearm towards the thumb side of the hand.
PulsingPortato articulation within the slur, in evenly measured beats or divisions of the beat.
SautilléA fast bowstroke where the hair stays in contact with the string while the stick bounces.
ShiftingThe changing of positions along the violin fingerboard.
SimileContinue in the same manner.
Square positionThe 'square position' is formed where the bow touches the string at approximately the middle of the bow, so that the forearm, upper arm, violin and bow make four sides of a square.
SupinateTo rotate the hand and forearm towards the little finger side of the hand.
Travel bowingA group of notes where we aim to use unequal amounts of bow in order to travel through the bow.
Upper half (UH)The part of the bow between middle and point.
VibratoA fluctuation of pitch, produced by a rocking motion of the left-hand fingers. It is used to add expressive qualities to the sound.
Whole-hand frameAll fingers are available to drop down to the string.
Wobble boardA balancing board that you stand on.
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