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Peter Spissky

doktorand - musik

"Ups and Downs – Violin bowing as Gesture"

An attempt at acquiring the characteristic features of idiomatic Baroque violin bowing through investigating the gestural patterns derived from speech, acting and dance, and their assimilation into bowing action

In my research project I explore the body movement of a violinist as a crucial tool for approaching the historical performance practice. I problematize the assertion of imitation of dance and speech in the bowing action, which we, the early music protagonists, often articulate as the main objective.

How is the imitation of dance and speech on baroque violin manifested in practice?

Rather than focusing on the bowing action as only a sound-producing act, which can only provide a superficial sonic imitation of speech or dance, I argue that understanding of a bowing action as being a part of the gestural vocabulary of the whole body will result in a deconstruction of traditional differentiation of historical styles based primarily on sound.

Edited video essays from live performances, rehearsals, opera productions, teaching, workshops with dancers, singers and actors together with critical reflections will possibly provide a window into some of the tacit embodied strategies of an early music performer.


Peter Spissky

Peter Spissky