Sul Ponticello

At the bridge

"Sul Ponticello" is an Italian musical term that refers to a playing technique used primarily in string instrument performance, such as the violin, viola, cello, and double bass. It instructs the musician to play near or on the bridge of the instrument.

When playing "Sul Ponticello", the musician positions the bow closer to the bridge, resulting in a distinct and unique sound. This technique produces a thinner and more metallic tone quality, often described as glassy, icy, or eerie. It emphasizes the higher harmonics of the instrument and creates a more intense and resonant sound.

The "Sul Ponticello" technique is not limited to bowed string instruments. It can also be applied to plucked string instruments like the guitar or harp, where the player plucks or strikes the strings near the bridge to achieve a similar effect.

In music, "Sul Ponticello" is typically used to achieve specific sound effects or create unique tonal colors. It may be employed in particular sections of a piece to enhance its expressiveness or convey certain emotions. In contemporary music, this technique can be used to create relatively unconventional sonic effects, serving experimental musical purposes.

Example of Sul Ponticello

Cello Solos Today: Sul Ponticello