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François Tourte

François Xavier Tourte (1747 - 1835) was a Frenchman who made bowss to play western classical string instruments such as the violin. He is considered to be the single most important figure in bringing the bow into its modern form.

Tourte's father also made bows, and initially he set up business with his brother. They quarelled, however, and went their separate ways.

It has been pointed out Tourte did not actually make many new inventions in bow making, but rather brought the best inventions of other makers together into bows which surpassed those which had gone before.

Tourte's bows are made from pernambuco wood, the most usual form of wood used on professional bows today, bent by being exposed to heat. He established the standard size for violin bows, at around 75 centimetres. Tourte's bows tended to be heavier than previous models, with more wood at the tip of the bow counterbalanced by a heavier frog (the device connecting the hair to the stick at the end nearest the player's hand).