archet

Encyclopedia

archet

in music, curved stick with tightly held fibres that produces sound by friction when drawn across the strings of a chordophone, such as a rebab, violin, or erhu. The most common material is rosined horsehair; some African bows used strips cut from rubber inner tubes, and the Korean ajaeng, a zither, is bowed with a rosined stick of wood. Early bows and those used in folk cultures were shaped like hunting bows. Later bows had a less pronounced curve, and the tension was controlled with the fingers of the right hand. Since the 16th century, European bow tension has been controlled by means of an adjustable nut or "frog" on the end, held by the player. By the late 17th century a screw mechanism was used. The concave shape of the stick, bending toward the hair, was perfected by Francois Tourte in the early 19th century and became the standard form of the bow used for instruments of the violin family.

Learn more about archet with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source
Explore Dictionary.com
Previous Definition: archest
Next Definition: archetto
Words Near: archet
More from Thesaurus.com
Synonyms and Antonyms for archet
More from Reference.com
Search for articles containing archet
More from Dictionary.com Translator
Dictionary.com Word FAQs

Dictionary.com presents 366 FAQs, incorporating some of the frequently asked questions from the past with newer queries.

Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature