from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A stroke performed on a stringed instrument in which the bow is moved across the strings from its tip to its heel.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In violin-playing, a stroke of the bow upward, beginning with the point: opposed to down-bow.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun an upward stroke from the tip to the heel of the bow


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • When no bowing is indicated, a phrase beginning with a weak beat commonly has an up-bow for the first tone, while one beginning on a strong beat has a down-bow; but this principle has many exceptions.

    Essentials in Conducting

  • The fiddlers best qualified to speak with authority will often disagree absolutely regarding the use of a string, position, up-bow or down-bow.

    Violin Mastery Talks with Master Violinists and Teachers

  • The change from up-bow to down-bow and _vice versa_ should be made without a break, exclusively through skillful manipulation of the wrist.

    Violin Mastery Talks with Master Violinists and Teachers

  • And the violinist should never think: 'I must play this up-bow or down-bow.'

    Violin Mastery Talks with Master Violinists and Teachers

  • Loeffler showed me what every good fiddler _must_ learn to do: to leap from the end of the down-bow to the up-bow and _vice versa_ and then hesitate the fraction of a moment, thus securing a smooth, clean-cut tone, without any vibration of the intermediate string.

    Violin Mastery Talks with Master Violinists and Teachers

  • The break or change from a down-bow to an up-bow, or _vice versa_, should be under such control as to make it perceptible only when it may be desirable to use it for color or accentuation.

    Violin Mastery Talks with Master Violinists and Teachers

  • Some of the techniques a student might need in this piece include: excellent tone, scales, up-bow staccato, the ability to play in sevenths (which can be practiced in broken or double-stop scales, major or minor, all the way up).

  • From the Mozart singer he will learn not only to sing but also to "speak" clearly and with meaning, to characterize, to act and react; from the string player to think in terms of up-bow and down-bow; and from the flautist or oboist to shape fast passages in a variety of articulations, instead of delivering them up to an automatic nonlegato or, worse yet, to an undeviating legato such as the old complete edition prescribed time and again without a shred of authenticity.

    A Mozart Player Gives Himself Advice

  • The second precaution is, that you first play with the point of the bow; and when that becomes easy to you, that you use that part of it which is between that part and the middle; and when you are likewise mistress of this part of the bow, that you practise in the same manner with the middle of the bow; and, above all, you must remember in these studies to begin the _Allegros_ or flights sometimes with an up-bow; and sometimes with a down-bow, carefully avoiding the habit of constantly practising one way.

    The Violin Its Famous Makers and Their Imitators

  • [up-bow symbol] Up-bow: _i. e._, from point to nut.

    Essentials in Conducting


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