The Princeton Festival Baroque Orchestra debuted in 2015 to wide acclaim, allowing patrons to hear music of the 18th century and earlier played on instruments of that time. “Period” instruments produce a sound that is very different from what we hear from today’s orchestras – textures are lighter and more transparent. The strings have a distinctly different sound, due to two predominant factors: the strings are made of catgut, as opposed to the steel strings of modern instruments; and the bows are arched and weighted towards the “frog” (the end of the bow held by the player) in contrast to the modern bow which is heavier and has a more equal distribution of weight along its length.
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