The western bow has changed its shape and form over time as technology and the craftsman’s techniques evolve. Such changes have enabled players to develop more advanced bow skills, and ultimately, improve the quality of sound and music they produce. In the video above, Paul Prier from JonPaul Bows gives us a short introduction to bows.
A history in the making
Like any technological innovation, the bow has been evolving over time. The improvements made to the bow allowed for greater strength, flexibility and control for musicians to produce better sounds.
Apart from changes to the shape of the bow, there has also been continuous progress in the material for bow making. Bow makers were able to make new improvements as they experiment with different types of wood for their bows. One of the most celebrated types is the Brazilian pernambuco wood. Its blend of strength and density makes it suitable for making the highest grade of bows that are still widely used to this day.
However, with the advent of carbon fiber nearly thirty years ago, equipment traditionally made from wood and other materials underwent a revolution. One example of the application of this new material is in sports equipment, such as racquet sports and golf. As the technology of carbon fiber continues to mature, adoption of carbon fiber became more widespread. These days carbon fiber is involved in a wide array of commodities made in the highest quality, ranging from aerospace engineering equipment, sports and entertainment gears, to daily live products. And now, carbon fiber has found its way in bow making as well.
A new age in bow making
Bows made in carbon fiber is good news for string players. With the right skills and techniques, the properties of carbon composite fibers can be adjusted and fine-tuned to match and surpass the physical properties of wood traditionally used in bow making. Moreover, carbon fiber is consistent, and its production quality can be well controlled. The result is increased bow performance at a lower cost.
This does not mean traditional bow making from wood has been made obsolete. The knowledge accumulated in the past three centuries combined with modern technology is still essential for making a high quality bow. Coming from a traditional French bow making background, JonPaul Bows has dedicated to the art and science of this trade since 1996. Their US made bows are among the finest bows available. With JonPaul Bows, you can enjoy the latest premium quality bows made by a leader in the field of carbon composite bows.
Bonus: Indestructible, almost…
On a beautiful day, with a touch of comedy, Paul decides to show us what happens when a construction tractor runs over one of his bows.
Although all things can be destroyed, if you try hard enough, this should be about the closest you can get to an indestructible bow. We are confident that your bow will survive a fall, playing in the orchestra pit, or a miscalculated “bow aerobic” where you failed to retrieve in mid-air.