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Historical perspective

Fundamentally, the philosophy of the School of French bow making requires a master to go beyond perfecting the ancestral tradition of his art: he should also pioneer new ideas and expand the bow making knowledge. In the 19th-century for example, J.-B. Vuillaume patented an iron bow using the latest techniques of his time. When Benoît Rolland initiated the Spiccato® adventure, he had this philosophy in mind.

A substainable craft

For this research he set forth challenging goals: to conceive an adjustable and unbreakable bow of concert quality, yet affordable. His other motivation was ecological. By the early eighties, concerns were growing over the dwindling supplies of pernambuco wood. Benoît Rolland was one of the first professionals to act with a view on protecting this increasingly rare natural resource. His objective was to preserve at once both pernambuco wood and the patrimony of historical bows by developing a viable alternative material for making high quality bows in numbers. Rolland proposed to reserve pernambuco wood logs for only making bows as fine art works.

Rolland very rarely engages in retailing historical bows; he chose the more demanding path of giving his time, energy and knowledge to conserving the historical patrimony and himself creating bows that may contribute to tomorrow patrimony. To Benoît, “Bows are valuable for the world of talents that they represent”.

Innovation

Creating an entirely innovative bow of high quality in synthetic materials, implied combining a multiple expertise: A masterful understanding of historical bows and the capacity of replicating them; the capacity of handling research in science and technology; and an in-depth analysis of the culture of classical musicians, as no innovation would spread if interprets do not accept it.

Commitment

Creating Spiccato® meant for Benoît Rolland coming out of his way as an artist, self-teaching science and new technologies, engaging his reputation as a renown maker, financing the research and initial manufacture, and ultimately traveling the world in all possible harsh conditions to bring the bow to the musicians.

From its first years, Spiccato® rallied around its bold concept the unfailing enthusiasm of great soloists, of independent minded professors and enlightened collectors, of lawyers who made it an exhilarating and memorable venture. Spiccato® is now played worldwide and reached its maturity while no synthetic bow surpassed yet the quality of the Spiccato® Maestro made by Benoît Rolland.

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Pernambuco tree


Musician playing a Spiccato bow, 1993


Spiccato model with a
transparent frog, 1992
In a Japanese collection

View This Bow


A blazoned Spiccato


Thinking anew
 

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