Violin Bow: Baroque, A. Dipper, Corrette Model
Violin Bow: Baroque, A. Dipper, Corette Model
Michel Corrette (b. 1707, d.1795) was a French musician and author of many musical method books. Andrew Dipper’s bows are of the type illustrated by Corrette in his violin tutor. This tutor depicts a bow with a so-called swan head which is an adaptation of the lower Pike-Head type of the Corelli bow This medium sized bow head allows for a hair ribbon barely wider than 7mm. The hair ribbon is also cambered by the shaping of the frog’s hair channel, which gives the bow very different playing characteristics than the modern bow with its flat hair ribbon. The Hill collection at the Ashmolean Museum, in Oxford, England has examples of this kind of bow. The weight range of the Corrette bow is from 52-54 grams and its frog is adjustable by means of the usual screw and button. The stick of the bow is regulated in diameter to enhance poetical expression within the music. The frogs on Dipper modern reproductions of these bows are usually made from amourette wood or various other hard and heavy tropical hardwoods because of the necessity for strength and the fine and accurate shaping of their geometry.
In the mid-1700’s, in order to achieve better expression in virtuosic performance, bows were lengthened from the 60cm length of the ordinary Corelli bow to around 68cm. The bows were finely regulated in thickness and more flexible than their predecessors. High quality snakewood (Brosimum guianense) from French and Dutch Guiana became the material of choice for French bows. Stick profiles could by completely cylindrical in the Italian style or octagonal at the frog end, slowly achieving a cylindrical profile before the balance point of the stick. Some high-quality bows were also cannulated. The Dipper Corrette model bow demonstrates this mid-1700’s shift. To learn more about the Corette model visit Dipper blog.