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Col Legno.

The words "Col Legno" placed over a passage in violin playing mean "with the wood," and indicate that the strings are to be struck with the stick of the bow, and not the hair. The bow is turned in the hand so that the stick touches the strings instead of the hair. When playing such a passage, the stick is not drawn over the strings, but the latter are struck with it, the effect being very similar to passages on the guitar which are "drummed," i. e., struck smartly with the thumb. "Col Legno" passages are not often met with for the violin, and are reserved for occasions where some striking descriptive effect is required. Writers for the orchestra sometimes use this effect, and it is more rarely met with in solo compositions. One of the best-known compositions in which it is extensively used is the "Serenade of the Martial Rabbit," one of the series of humorous "Scenes," written by Leonard, the well- known French violinist. There is about a page of chords played "col legno," and the effect is very pleasing. As is the case with all novel effects on the violin, this piece takes immensely with an audience, and it is very useful as an encore, or one of a series, played as a single number.

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You are reading Col Legno. from the August, 1910 issue of The Etude Magazine.

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