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Glossary of Strings Orchestration

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Created by musichistsucks

Tuning of the Four Violin Strings
G D A E
Tuning of the Four Viola Strings
C G D A
Tuning of the Four Cello Strings
C G D A
Tuning of the Four Double Bass Strings
(C) E A D G
non div.
Players perform double/triple/quadruple stops.
divisi/div.
Right player on top, left player on bottom.
da leggii
par pupitres
pultweise

Divide by stand.
la meta
la moitie
die halfte

Only players on the right side of the stand should play (the other half should not).
tutti
tous
alle

All play.
senza vibrato
non vibrato
Without vibrato.
sur Sol
To be played on one string.
portamento vs. glissando
Portamento is a minimal slide, glissando is a slide at full volume.
fingered glissando
Written-out glissando -- every pitch is notated. Sounds like a blurred glissando.
Non legato
No slurs.
Detache
One note per bow used, clearly articulated. Played in the middle of the bow.
al tallone
au talon
am frosch

Played at the frog.
Loure
Portato
Slightly separated notes as the bow is drawn across the string. Notated by dashes.
Separate Bow Staccato
Notes are played separated and with separate bows for each note.
Slurred Staccato
Hooked Bows
Separation of a series of short notes on one bow.
Martele
Martellato
Marcato

Fast, well-articulated, heavy, separate stroke, resembling a sforzando.
Conscious Spiccato
In a slow or moderate tempo, the bow bounces lightly off the strings.
Spontaneous Spiccato
Saltando
At a fast tempo, the bow bounces off the strings.
Slurred Spiccato
The bow bounces of the string, causing notes to be played in a single bow.
Jete
Ricochet
The upper third of the bow is thrown on the string so that it will bounce, producing rapid pitches.
Arpeggiando
A natural bounced arpeggio at a fast tempo.
Trill
Executed by holding down the string of the pitch printed in the score with the appropriate finger and playing and releasing the next higher note with the adjacent upper finger as rapidly as possible for the entire value of the printed note.
Bowed Tremolo
A single pitch repeated as often as possible during the length of the written note.
Fingered Tremolo
An interval of a second or larger is quickly repeated.
Sul tasto
Sur la touche
Am griffbrett

Bow played on fingerboard, producing a soft and hazy tone.
Sul ponticello
Au chevalet
Am steg

Playing very near the bridge, producing a metallic, eerie sound. Usually combined with tremolo.
Col legno tratto
Avec le bois
Wooden stick dragged across string, creating a wispy sound.
Normale
Naturale
In modo ordinado

Resume normal bowing.
Pizzicato, pizz.
Plucking of the strings with the fingers.
Arco
Resume playing with the bow after pizzicato.
Left-hand Pizzicato
When a cross (+) appears above a note, the string is plucked with one of the fingers of the left hands. Often, these are open strings.
Snap Pizzicato
Fingernail Pizzicato
Bartok Pizzicato

Snapping the string against the fingerboard.
Con sordino
Avec sourdine
Mit dampfer

A mute is placed on the bridge to suppress harmonics.
Senza sordino
Sans sourdine
Ohne dampfer

Take the mute off.
Scordatura
Open strings altered in pitch.
Accordatura/Accord
Back to original tuning.
Natural Harmonics
Pitches produced by touching a string lightly at various points called nodes. Harmonics/partials result.
Violin example:
I-sul G
II-sul D
III-sul A
IV-sul E




Touch Fourth Harmonics
Pitch produced is two octaves above stopped note.
Battute
Strike the tailpiece with the wood of the bow.
Touch Minor Third Harmonics
Pitch produced is two octaves and a fifth above the stopped note.
Ranges
Violin: G3 to B7
Viola: C3 to B6
Cello: C2 to E6
Bass: C1/E1 to G4


Touch Major Third Harmonics
Pitch produced is two octaves and a major third above the stopped note.

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