Sautille Bowing

In earlier blog entries, I wrote about how different bowing techniques can affect the sound of a violin or string section and how it can also help to create different moods or feelings within a string arrangement. Previously, I covered Martele, Spiccato and Marcato bowings and today I wanted to write something about Sautille bowing.

Sautille bowing is a form of spiccato which allows the natural bounce of the bow to create it’s own momentum and seems to allow the bow to bounce of it’s own accord. When the spiccato bowing is propelled at a fast speed, the amount of bow used becomes less and the area of the bow which touches the strings becomes further up (higher towards the tip of the bow). When this happens, the bow begins to spring with very little effort from the player.

In a string arrangement, this could be used for highly virtuosic passages where either a single note is repeated or the passage work is quick and furious. To write this in, a string arranger would notate this the same as most other detached bow strokes with a dot at the top of the note head, but what would suggest to the player Sautille would be the rapid speed of the notes.

Sautille can be played at any dynamic or accented or double stopped to give real energy and flair to a string part.