sul ponticello » Special playing styles - Philipp Dangas

sul ponticello

Description of the playing technique sul ponticello

The point of attack of the bow is moved to the bridge and the sound of the string is amplified. The sound becomes sharper and clearer in the forte. And in the piano, the sound becomes shimmering or glittering.

Justification for the sound produced by the sul ponticello:

Striking the string near the end makes the overtones stand out. The sul ponticello is mostly used to perform the tremolo in the lower register of the string instruments.

sul ponticello as part of the “symphonic world music”

The use of "sul ponticello" means producing the highest intensity. Comes into play with stronger dynamics. And with appropriate bowing, e.g. with long strokes. This is especially true for the tremolo sul ponticello. For slow passages to develop the rhythm as an example.

Key data on the special type of game sul ponticello

Italian: sul ponticello
German: „Am Steg”
English: “at/on/near the bridge”
French: “au Chevalet”
The bow touches the string very close to the bridge.
A metallic, glassy sound.
am Steg or sul ponticello Indication on the staff.

Downloads for sul ponticello - score by Richard Wagner

Sound file for the score "Die Walküre" Download-size: 689 Kilobytes
PDF file for the score "Die Walküre" Download–size: 112 Kilobytes

Note on the score with an example on sul Ponticello

Two graphics with a score excerpt follow. Excerpt from the prelude to "Valkyrie" (Die Walküre). Composition by Richard Wagner. An example of sul ponticello. The graphics can also be enlarged. They are Link-Sensitive [Clickable].

Example of bow tremolo