Is it necessary to begin a measure with a down bow and finish a measure with an up bow? So lets say in 4/4 time the 1st & 3rd beats would be down bows and the 2nd & 4th beats would be up bows.
David, the fiddler has more control when playing near the frog as opposed to the tip. The first note of a measure is the down beat so we expect it to be stronger. We start with a down bow. If there is a pick up, we typically use an up bow so we can still start the first measure with a down bow. BUT fiddle music is not classical music. Not everyone plays it the same way. Once you start playing the tune, slurs, syncopated phrases, etc. are going to influence what happens. You will find sheet music for old time music with the measures not even delineated. There are also crooked tunes. These are tunes that throw in or leave out a note here and there. Old time does it and Irish, too. When you get more familiar with a tune you start to feel where you want the emphasis to be. If you are reading music and fairly new to the fiddle, I would try to return to the down bow on the first note if you have to deviate from it because tunes can sound wonky if you don’t. Sometimes you do deviate. Hope this helps.