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The tarantella is a dance that originated in southern Italy some 2000 years ago. If you were bitten by a spider you would dance around for hours or days and either die of convulsions or survive. The dance was believed to be a remedy for the bite. Later, members of your family or village would dance as you lay in pain.

The tarantella is usually in 6/8 time in a very fast tempo. Chopin, Rossini. Britten, Liszt, Mendelssohn, Rachmaninoff, Debussy, and many more have written tarantellas. I couldn't help but think of Rimsky-Korsakov's Flight of the Bumble Bee as I wrote this. The middle section gives a break from the frenzy and is intended to be a piece of Americana. Hope you enjoy it and give me some feed back.

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Hi Lawrence,

Best not to argue with a 6'3" pianist over fingering....

I bet your tinder cello has given you a great foundation in bowing to build on. You gave a head start and more importantly a feel for bowing. You are doing the hard work studying scores and incorporating what you are learning into your arsenal, it is no harder to study bowing in scores and especially to listen and understand the musical reasons for choosing particular techniques. See and hear in context, paying attention to tempo, dynamics and articulation - all of which dictate the bowing used.

 The Prokofiev example you keep citing is not really relevant I feel. I too have the score and although an up-bow might be preferred to a down, or a longer slur may be shortened, or for that matter any other sort of alteration, surely the point is that Prokofiev marked (and wrote) in such a way that there was no room for ambiguity in musical intent. You say you feel uncomfortable about marking in bowing and yet you are (nearly!) completing full scores. Believe me, players might make you feel uncomfortable if you give them nothing, they are not mind readers.

Your comparison of the cello with a brass player will go down well with one section of an orchestra. You will know as an ex-cellist though that those triplet semis could be played separate bows in a legato or semi-legato way or bowed as discussed above - your score  has no stacc. dots on the triplet, nor a bow slur.

Bowing the triplets is not an isolated event neither because all bow strokes are linear, i.e. following on from one another with consequences, hence the need for precise indications at all times. Finally, as you know there are normally 10 cellists' in a full symphony band and each player has to bow the same way in normal musical procedures. 

I can't stress enough how important it is that string bowing should be part of the compositional process because it is the sound generator for the string section and the more you know about manipulating it, and especially exploiting it at a creative level, the better your writing will be. Perhaps I should add that at the very least one should supply all accents, dots etc. along with some basic legato and detached information as these elements should have been considered at the writing stage and written in automatically.


   Thanks for listening. 
Rick Waugh said:

Beautifully done. If that's all midi generated, it sure sounds great; absolutely lovely mix.

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