Concerning the Author

Andreas Grütter

The author - well, that's me. It is possible that you, the reader, don't really care, and just want to get down to business. But how can you understand the title without reading this introduction? Besides, I have not written many books, and therefore find it hard to pass up the opportunity to say something about myself.

My parents are psychoanalysts, both of them. But there’s no need to pity me on that account, my childhood was no worse than yours. Only different. The question "why" had great importance already at that time. And with me, that is still the case.

There are different kinds of bow makers. There are the "what" types, who are often former musicians. There are also the "how" types, who are usually craftspeople. Then there are the "how much" types, who are the dealers. I am clearly of the "why" type, the psychologists of bow making.

What I do, so to speak, is lay the bow on the couch and try to analyze it. Every little detail contains a story. The interplay of all details results in a particular character. Sometimes I also indulge in the therapy of couples. This concerns the interplay of bow and fiddle. For if the sound post in the violin is in the wrong place, one does not need to fuss around with the bow. It can happen that musicians may themselves wish to have a go at this. But this is not my style.

In accordance with my parents' wishes, I had an academic education. But as I got older, I became more interested in both craftsmanship and music. My brother took up music. I lacked the talent for it. So I began making instruments. In fact, I found the craftsmanship part rather troublesome. My constant need to know the "why" of things was something of an irritant. As a result, I developed a kind of sound fetish. For me, a beautiful sound is an erotic experience.

So I flirted with tone production, a rather bewildering phenomenon. In this essay, I am principally concerned with how the bow contributes to the production of a tone or several tones. This is already a rather complicated process, as will soon be clear.

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