top of page
  • Writer's pictureAda Witczyk

How to make a BAROQUE bow?

With the new #ruzickovacompetition up and running I have the greatest pleasure to introduce you to one of our 2021 partners and share with you some of his bow making secrets.

I won't keep you waiting any longer so let me introduce you to Eitan Hoffer!

Eitan Hoffer has been making baroque and classical bows for early music string instruments since 2005. Eitan’s interest lies not only in copying the original bow’s exterior aesthetics, but mainly to understand the musical ideals that bows of different periods

were made to serve, and to fit the right model of a bow, and its playing characteristics to the performance practice we can derive from the 17th and 18th centuries historical sources and treatises.

Baroque instruments are very different from their modern versions and the correct bow is of course just as important.

All bows that Eitan makes are made by hand, from natural and traditional materials. Therefore, each bow is a unique creation, with its own distinct personality.

If you're new to baroque music-making you might wonder, how is the baroque bow different from modern ones?


Let's talk some numbers first, shall we?

The length of an average size bow is around 75cm whereas baroque bows can range from 55cm to 68cm.

When it comes to the material, from my personal experience most of the modern bows I've used were made from pernambuco wood while the baroque ones were either made from snakewood, larch or ironwood.

You're probably also more likely to find a clip-in frog in earlier models rather than a newer screw mechanism which is built-in.

Shape shape shape...

Generally we say that baroque bows are bent slightly outwards in the middle, with an elegant "swan-bill" pointed head. I encourage you to visit this website HERE and you will be absolutely amazed how varied and inspiring the different bow models are depending on when and where they were made in the 17th and 18th century.

Still curious? Or maybe you would like to try one of Eitan's bows yourself? Personally, I can't recommend them enough and I will be using one of his creations to record the Ruzickova Composition Competition 2021 winning pieces later this year.

You can reach Eitan through his website HERE.

Now, I'm curious, have YOU ever tried playing with a baroque bow?


Recent Posts

See All


Frank Berno Timm
Frank Berno Timm
May 16, 2021

No, I have not played a baroque bow so far. But I am fascinated by this complete other world of playing. It's an example of Gorzow's Christa Wolf's "How did we become the way we are today?" The idea of #ruzickovacompetition, to compose new music for these instruments, is like a special bridge in the past. I reminds me on writing a Sonnet nowadays.....🎻

Ada Witczyk
Ada Witczyk
May 16, 2021
Replying to

Fantastic you think so! Have a lovely week!

bottom of page