Laurie Trlak, the stroke you are referring to is called col legno. You are right in saying it is not used very often. I have only seen it in orchestra music, I have yet to come across it in solo music. It is kind of a fun stroke, and gives a very different sound, but a lot of violinists don’t really like to do it because it is hard on the bow and tends to beat it up a bit. Sometimes when players are using expensive bows they will bring two bows on stage so that they can use the cheaper bow when this stroke comes up in the music.
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