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Posted By : Jon McManus - 2/26/2013 2:42 PM
I'm relatively new to Finale. 
Has anyone created a plugin or script to automatically generate bow marks?  I would asssume that after the initial 'pickup' marks are entered, the remainder of the marks should be determined by the presence (or absence) of slurs.  In such an application, I would also expect to be able to change one or more marks manually, and have subsequent marks follow appropriately.
With respect to the obvious question: no, I don't play the violin, so please forgive me if the description is oversimplified.   I am somewhat familiar with bowing technique, and as a generalization, the rules seem well-defined enough to allow a first pass at marks to be automated.

Posted By : Derrek - 2/26/2013 2:51 PM
To have bowing automatically assigned (and string players do not expect or want a mark on every change of bow) is a little like asking the Finale program to supply the rest of a melody given the first few notes. I'm pretty sure that unusual bowing (insofar as marking slurs and an occasional up-bow or down-bow in unusual circumstances) is the responsibility of the composer (or orchestrator), and the ultimate interpretation of the bowing falls to the (solo) player, lead string player of each section, or conductor.

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Posted By : Michel R. E. - 2/26/2013 3:17 PM
No, the rules are defined, but there is simply no way for a computer program to use them.
Those very rules are VERY complex and situational, and there are simply too many exceptions to the rules.

The rules aren't based on simply following a down bow with an up bow. Two slurred notes might start down bow, but the third note, not included in the slur, might actually ALSO be down bow.

I suggest, instead, that you purchase a good book on bowing techniques and brush up on it. It isn't all that complicated. And add a bit of contact with a string player and you're all set to go.

But don't expect Finale to do it for you.

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Posted By : Motet - 2/26/2013 3:52 PM
I'm not a string player, but from my observation playing in orchestras and watching them work out bowings, it's an art and greatly subject to individual taste.

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Posted By : Jari Williamsson - 2/26/2013 4:10 PM
Do NOT add bowings to the string parts, unless you want a very specific effect based on the bowing (such as down, down, down in fortissimo). Instead, put your efforts on marking how the music should sound (using slurs, staccato, accents, dynamics, etc).

Jari Williamsson

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Posted By : Ron. - 2/26/2013 6:09 PM
Bowing is an extremely complicated and technical art. If we just wanted to mark up-down-up-down, then, yes a computer could do it, but why? If you watch a professional violinist (or any strong player) you'll see some very complex moves with the bow. When I studied violin I had an exercise book--several hundred pages long--of nothing but bowing techniques. My advice: unless you have a professional to guide you, do not include bowing directions and, even then, a different professional would have different advice.

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Posted By : OCTO. - 2/27/2013 9:52 AM
Agree with all answers above. Do not write bowing [!], except something what is not typical.

However, maybe Jon McManus compiles a book for children where it COULD be possible.

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Posted By : Vaughan - 2/27/2013 10:16 AM
I thought of that, too, but it's such an exception to normal practice that it would hardly be reasonable to expect Finale or a script/plugin to be able to do it automatically.


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