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The bow is a string player's primary "tool for tone," but like any tool, sometimes we need more than one to get the job done. In this episode we speak with historical bow maker Ralph Ashmead, learning all about the differences between Baroque, Transitional, and Modern bows, the reasons why we might choose one over another, and exploring the factors that caused bow design change over time. Having crafted bows for over 40 years, we hear Ralph's story into bow-making, and learn about his process for choosing wood and "wrestling" bows into being. Our chat concludes with tips for players looking to purchase a historical bow, and practicalities, like what to do when it comes time to re-hair your Baroque bow.

Show Notes:

Ralph Ashmead website (check out the gorgeous pictures of his bows!!):

Rachel Barton Pine on Baroque bows and Bach:


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Laurel Thomsen

Violin, Viola, Vocals
Performance, Instruction, Recording

Based in Santa Cruz, California

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Photography by Michelle Magdalena
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