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Col Legno



As string player, one way that we can change the sound of the instrument is by playing “col legno.” This means that instead of using the side of the bow with hair on it, sound is made by bouncing the wooden side of the bow on the string. This provides a less lyrical and quieter sound. The reasons behind this change in sound are because of physics. The wooden side of the bow has a smooth surface, which contrasts the surface of the bow hair greatly. Bow hair has tiny grooves in it, which is ten covered in rosin to make it stickier. The wooden side of the bow does not have this. Therefore there is less friction between the surface of the string and the back of the bow. Because there is less friction, the force from the bow that acts on the string to make sound is much less as well. Because of physics, string players are able to change the sound of their instruments.


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