Interview with Bernd Müsing, owner and inventor of Arcus bows in Germany

Well, it just a stick with hair, isn’t it?

Then… why did I just save and work hard for years to get myself a € 8.000 ($ 9.400) brand new violin bow… made out of carbon fiber?


If you want to develop your violin playing to the next level, your own playing, your violin, your bow and your teacher must work together.

For those who don’t play or for beginners, it’s hard to imagine what difference a bow can make. Did you ever think ‘if I’m a better player, I’ll get a better bow’? Well… it’s the other way around… a good bow can guide you into becoming a better player.

Selecting a bow is highly personal and has to fit your playing style, your way of bow movement and your body. Also it has to resonate well with your violin.

Arcus high end carbon fiber bows

Bernd is an engineer and amateur violinist. When he was looking for a new bow, he couldn’t find a bow that met his demands and decided to design his own bow.

The ‘modern bow’ that is the design for wooden bows, is a design Tourte made around 1800. In the last two centuries the bow design didn’t change, but the violin did. We now don’t play on open gut strings anymore, but on wounded synthetic strings and on steel E strings. The tension is a lot higher. Big concert halls make it necessary to have a bigger sound that can fill a large space.

The violin changed, but the bow didn’t.

The stiffness and lightness you would need on the current violin, can’t be made out of wood. So Bernd explored and experimented with different materials and concluded that carbon fiber with as little epoxy is possible could do the trick.

It took years of research to design the perfect bow, but the last twenty years Arcus has been selling bows worldwide to professionals and amateur players. In almost all German professional orchestra’s there are a handful of violinist happily playing their Arcus bows.

You’ll feel like you’re cheating…

Having a bow that matches your violin and your playing, makes especially advanced bowing techniques a lot easier. Spicatto, sautillé and ricochet are so much easier. Creating a full sound will cost just a little effort. After a day of rehearsals and concerts, your right arm won’t be so tired anymore. You can play faster, more subtle and with a better sound. A wooden bow would feel clumsy and out of control in comparison. Besides that it will release a beautiful sound from your violin that is rich in overtones.

Zlata plays a round S9 Arcus violin bow.

Do you want to have an Arcus bow as well? They have dozens of different types and classes of bows in their assortment.
For those in the Netherlands, go to www.vioolspelen.nl and visit Zlata’s violin shop.
For those outside the Netherlands, click here to find your local Arcus dealer.

arcus round S9 violin bow

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