‘You’re going to play even louder now!’ - Letters to the editor: November 2023

Letter 4 - Chaim Taub

A selection of letters The Strad receives each month from its readers around the world: November 2023 issue

Strength through relaxation

Thanks to Davina Shum for her piece on the importance of practising soft playing (Opinion, September 2023). I often hear that players have to give their instrument volume by pressing the bow hard, and the quality of the timbre takes second place. It’s a well-known fact, however, that loudness is not the only factor in sound projection. I’ve seen (and heard) myself on many occasions. Holding the bow by exaggerated muscular pressure and telling the instrument, ‘You’re going to play even louder now!’ by clenching the lips results in a loud sound, but one that screams instead of sings. A sound that screams is not necessarily the one that projects the most…

Already subscribed? Please sign in

Subscribe to continue reading…

We’re delighted that you are enjoying our website. For a limited period, you can try an online subscription to The Strad completely free of charge.

  • Free 7-day trial

    Not sure about subscribing? Sign up now to read this article in full and you’ll also receive unlimited access to premium online content, including the digital edition and online archive for 7 days.

    No strings attached – we won’t ask for your card details

  • Subscribe 

    No more paywalls. To enjoy the best in-depth features and analysis from The Strad’s latest and past issues, upgrade to a subscription now. You’ll also enjoy regular issues and special supplements* and access to an online archive of issues back to 2010.


* Issues and supplements are available as both print and digital editions. Online subscribers will only receive access to the digital versions.