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Is there proper Bow technique? (Read 10794 times)

Offline faulty_damper

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Is there proper Bow technique?
« on: April 01, 2004, 01:27:10 PM »
How do you bow before and after you play?


Before playing, my teacher has the students stand up front before moving to the bench.  Then after, the students stand up, move in front of the bench and bow.  Sometimes, the students really walk far up front and then bow.  I think this looks odd because of the distance traversed.

I like to put my hand on the piano top and bow both before playing and after playing by walking in front of the bench.  This is reminiscent of some other pianists who do this and I have copied it because it looks so much more elegant.  (I've only done this once since I've only had one recital.)


So how do you do it?

Here's how I'm thinking about it now.  Before playing, I'm thinking that the ideal way to do it is to walk up in front of the bench and then bow without touching the piano.  Then afterwards, stand in front of the bench with hand on top of piano top and then bow.  The hand should already be on the piano top as to help pick yourself off the bench so you just leave it there and then bow.

And maybe it's not necessary to bow before?  

Offline mark1

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Re: Is there proper Bow technique?
«Reply #1 on: April 01, 2004, 07:19:24 PM »
I've never bowed before an audience, but I like it when a pianist touches the piano while he or she is bowing. Mostly on the final bow. As long as you give a warm smile with it. :)  But I guess that all depends on personal taste. From a spectator point of view, touching the piano shows a love for it. It's usually well recieved.                                                         Mark
"...just when you think you're right, you're wrong."

Offline Hmoll

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Re: Is there proper Bow technique?
«Reply #2 on: April 01, 2004, 08:31:10 PM »
Whenever there is applause, a pianist should bow. It is rude not to. When you walk on stage, the audience usually - unless they to a man don't know how to act in a concert hall - applause. You, the performer, need to acknowledge that applause by bowing. This is not something that is optional. It is poor etiquette not to bow.

Even between movements, if there is scattered applause, you can quickly acknowledge the audience with a quick not.

It is extremely rude not to bow when an audience is applauding you.
"I am sitting in the smallest room of my house. I have your review before me. In a moment it will be behind me!" -- Max Reger

Offline allchopin

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Re: Is there proper Bow technique?
«Reply #3 on: April 02, 2004, 12:07:23 AM »
Abstinence from both parties would be ideal.
A modern house without a flush toilet... uncanny.

Offline faulty_damper

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Re: Is there proper Bow technique?
«Reply #4 on: April 02, 2004, 12:33:06 PM »
Quote

Even between movements, if there is scattered applause, you can quickly acknowledge the audience with a quick not.

It is extremely rude not to bow when an audience is applauding you.


But what if the sonata you're playing is a fantasia without a standard pause between movements, where the end of the movment slows down but does not come to a complete cadence and the audience starts clapping?  Do you turn your head, nod, but don't stop playing?


"It is extremely rude not to bow when an audience is applauding you. "
I like this advice.  Seems to put the bowing process into perspective.

Offline Hmoll

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Re: Is there proper Bow technique?
«Reply #5 on: April 02, 2004, 11:47:13 PM »
Quote


But what if the sonata you're playing is a fantasia without a standard pause between movements, where the end of the movment slows down but does not come to a complete cadence and the audience starts clapping?  Do you turn your head, nod, but don't stop playing?

My sister saw David Helfgott in Boston once. He was playing the Chopin 4th ballade, and apparently paused a long time on the chord just before the coda begins. As a result the audience started to applaude, thinking the piece was over (I guess they all thought the piece ended on the dominant). He stood up bowed for the applause, and sat down and played the coda (maybe not what I would have done).

"It is extremely rude not to bow when an audience is applauding you. "
I like this advice.  Seems to put the bowing process into perspective.



That's a good point. In a piece like this - Moonlight sonata, eg - the performer should maintain a continuity in segueing (sp) from one movement to the next. Ideally there should be no "break" between movements, but if the audience starts applauding, then the break has occurred, so perhaps you might as well quickly acknowledge it.
"I am sitting in the smallest room of my house. I have your review before me. In a moment it will be behind me!" -- Max Reger

Offline thomas_williams

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Re: Is there proper Bow technique?
«Reply #6 on: April 03, 2004, 07:35:25 AM »
Quote
Abstinence from both parties would be ideal.


::)

It's GREAT to be a classical musician!

Offline trunks

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Re: Is there proper Bow technique?
«Reply #7 on: April 14, 2004, 11:47:47 PM »
I heard Fou Tsong (to many, the greatest Chinese classical pianist ever) play Chopin live more than 20 years ago in Hong Kong. During a brief pause in a slow section of the 4th Ballade (F minor, Op.52), some people applauded. Fou Tsong immediated raised his right hand during the piece to stop the (inappropriate) applause, and carried on with the piece. Of course he rose on completion of the piece and bowed most courteously towards the applauding audience.

For those who have come across the name of this pianist but have no idea of how Chinese people call their names, 'Fou' is his surname (family name, last name) and 'Tsong' is his given name (first name). That is, the surname always precedes the given name. Thus, Yundi Li is properly called Li Yundi in Chinese. Interestingly, Lang Lang's name is so special in that both his surname and given name sound the same . . . perhaps a deliberate humour from his father.:-*
Peter (Hong Kong)
part-time piano tutor
amateur classical concert pianist

Offline faulty_damper

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Re: Is there proper Bow technique?
«Reply #8 on: April 15, 2004, 02:46:23 AM »
Before you mentioned Fu Chong, I thought the way to stop them from applaude was to raise the finger as in "just one moment", not flicking them the bird. ;)

Wouldn't that be funny if someone rasied the wrong finger? ;D

Offline donjuan

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Re: Is there proper Bow technique?
«Reply #9 on: April 15, 2004, 05:20:04 AM »
Yes, it would be funny if one raised the wrong finger.  Bowing between performances is very important to create a barrier between the performances so that the audience is not confused, and they are aware of your presence at the piano.  In my opinion, bowing at the begining of a performance is most important to set the stage for music, rather than playing the first note while people are still talking, or taking off their jackets,, orr..or something ridiculous.