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Quarantine Practice, Ep. 7 - Rode Caprice no. 10


Another fun 15 minute session of exploring the relationship between intonation and vibrato with Pierre Rode’s Caprice no. 10.

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Both vibrato and intonation source their sense of stability from allowing rebound movement to be at play. There should always be micro vibrations within each note- this is a physical result of the physics of the strings, which are suspended over the fingerboard (supported by nut and bridge). If the string is depressed towards the fingerboard and released, it will spring back to its original position. When the finger, with gravity and without excessive pressure, falls on the string, the finger will automatically rebound along with it. Letting this automatic rebound movement come through without active control allows for greater security.

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Intonation in passages with a flurry of notes with uniform rhythm asks for an allowance of rebound movement as well. Likening the finger joints to the leg joints help- the top knuckle is the ankle; second knuckle the knee; and base knuckle the hip joint. Just as in walking / running, the knee allows for extension and flexion of the leg; the ankle allows for up and down movement of the foot. If one excessively bends/locks the knee, the ankle stiffens and loses stability. Quite similar to how the fingers work- if the second knuckle is too upright or flat, the top knuckle can withstand only so much pressure before it loses stability. A rounded arc (both tactile and visual) needs to be found, and the degree to which this arc is curved depends on each person’s hand...!

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Anyway, I had some fun looking at how my fingers actively exert and passively respond!

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#violin #violinist #pierrerode

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