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Col legno

From Academic Kids

Col legno (Italian for with the wood) is a method of playing bowed string instruments (particularly the violin, viola, cello, and double bass) whereby the strings are struck with the wood of the bow rather having the hair pulled across them. There is also a technique called col legno tratto in which the player drags the wood of the bow instead of striking the string.

Notable instances of col legno playing include the fifth movement of Hector Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique and the Mars movement of Gustav Holst's The Planets.


Col legno is also the name of a record label specialising in contemporary classical music; see Col legno (record label).

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