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It means 'on the bridge'; to play the indicated section of music by bowing as closely as possible to the bridge of your instrument. It helps produce a somewhat thin, whiny, almost nasal sound.

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โˆ™ 2007-10-04 20:05:39
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Q: What does the musical term sul ponticello mean?
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Close to the bridge of a violin?

The bridge is the structure that rests on the main body of the instrument and holds the strings up; it is crescent-shaped at the top (traditional fiddlers might make theirs flatter?) and stands on two legs. Playing the bow close to the bridge gets a thinner, scratchier sound (mostly treble, little bass, as it were). The Italian term for this is "sul ponticello". Hope this helps!

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