High or Low Elbow
The writer of this note was at a picture show house recently one of the features of which is the music as presented by an orchestra of about forty men. One point which caught his eye was the difference in the positions and bowing movements of the violinists. Some raised the elbow noticeably, others but little, and others not at all.
Curiosity suggested a consultation of certain works on violin bowing to find out what is said on this point.
Curiosity suggested a consultation of certain works on violin bowing to find out what is said on this point. In his book The Art of Violin-bowing Paul Stoeving gives the following instruction to students:
The pupil is particularly warned against raising the upper-arm or elbow too high or too far away from the body in comparison to the forearm ; a habit as common as it is pernicious whereby the elbow is caused to stick out and prevents the free and independent movements of the fore-arm and the wrist.
Indeed with respect to all movements of the upper arm let the pupil remember that they should be made with discretion; not direct, but as it were from the dictates of the forearm.
The fore-arm follows, in most cases, the dictates of the wrist; but. not to such an extent. It is more independent than the upper arm; it often takes the initiative at moving, and the wrist follows, or the two form an inseparable one.