Notation for bow behind the bridge (cello)?

Discuss the rules of notation, standard notation practices, efficient notation practices and graphic design.
Post Reply
User avatar
David Ward
Posts: 240
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 19:50
Location: Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Contact:

Notation for bow behind the bridge (cello)?

Post by David Ward » 07 Jun 2017, 20:28

Not my usual way of writing, but any advice for notating a brief passage with the cello bow behind the bridge? Gould, on p 408, suggests crossed noteheads at the pitch of the open string the right side of the bridge, plus the direction ‘arco behind the bridge.’ Is this the clearest and simplest notation?

Background info: as a non-commissioned little extra, I've decided to write a short duet for a brilliant professional cellist to play with a friend and amateur cellist who has been involved in the commission of my new piece for the professional cellist to premiere in November. The little extra piece is not intended to be taken too seriously, and I expect it to pass through several period styles, from mock renaissance to ‘avant garde’ (as was). The professional cellist gained a formidable reputation for coping with the most extreme demands of the avant garde, including Stockhausen's Helicopter Quartet

Whether or not the two, professional and amateur, will decide to add the little duet to the otherwise fully professional concert in November will be up to them, but I think it might be fun if they do.

Knut
Posts: 867
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 18:07
Location: Oslo, Norway

Re: Notation for bow behind the bridge (cello)?

Post by Knut » 08 Jun 2017, 14:29

I believe the most common contemporary notation is a half circle or bow through the stem, in addition to x-noteheads. SMuFL (and Bravura) has the whole range of symbols for this purpose here: https://w3c.github.io/smufl/gitbook/tab ... iques.html. It's actually labelled sul ponticello, but I don't think that is correct. I'll check Kurt Stone's book when I get a chance.

User avatar
David Ward
Posts: 240
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 19:50
Location: Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Contact:

Re: Notation for bow behind the bridge (cello)?

Post by David Ward » 08 Jun 2017, 17:57

Thanks. I have the Opus fonts from some years ago (with demo of Sibelius 6), and It looks as though Opus glyph 92 or perhaps better Opus Special glyph 72 might be OK for the half circle (as an articulation? or as an expression?).

Knut
Posts: 867
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 18:07
Location: Oslo, Norway

Re: Notation for bow behind the bridge (cello)?

Post by Knut » 12 Jun 2017, 12:27

David Ward wrote:
08 Jun 2017, 17:57
Thanks. I have the Opus fonts from some years ago (with demo of Sibelius 6), and It looks as though Opus glyph 92 or perhaps better Opus Special glyph 72 might be OK for the half circle (as an articulation? or as an expression?).
I'm sorry, David, for taking so long to respond.

Yes, Opus also has a dedicated symbol for this. Alternatively, you could construct the symbol in the shape designer. Curt Stones suggested bridge symbol is somewhat tapered, so even using the slur tool in the shape designer could work well, depending on your document settings of course.

Note the following quote from Stone:
The stems must be fairly long, especially those with flags, to provide enough space outside the staff for the bridge symbol to be clearly visible.
In other words, this symbol should always be placed outside the staff, on the stem side.

Stone also suggests using a dashed continuation line whenever several consecutive notes are to be played behind the bridge. In this case, the symbol appropriate for whole notes (i.e., a short vertical stem through the bridge symbol) should be used.

Post Reply