History of the Cello Essay

942 Words Aug 25th, 2012 4 Pages
Cello
The Cello, a very unique mid size instrument of the 16th century, was very interesting. Originally called the violoncello, the cello received its name from violone meaning a larger and cello in Italian means shoulder. The meaning suggests a big violin that can be played between ones legs and held in place by a strap. The cello was also influenced by a number of people that made this instrument a success. There is a little history about this instrument that I think you will enjoy.
The first known account of this instrument was in Agricola’s, Wittenberg 1528, were it was part of a bass consort. The first known maker of a cello was Andrea Amati and his descendants in Cremona and Gasparo da Salo in Brescia during the 1500’s. The
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The dimensions of the cello are measured at around 75-6cm long and 44.5cm wide. The dimensions of the cello can be accredited to Antonio Stradivari back in 1707 with his smaller model they called “forma B”. The larger models of Stradivari times were the “Servais” cello of 1701 which is 79cm long and 47cm wide. The makers of cellos quickly realized that there was a need for more than one kind of cello. They needed the larger ones with thick strings for orchestra playing and also the smaller ones with thin strings for solo pieces. The measurements of the neck and fingerboard of cello that has been documented , is those of James Talbot in 1695 with the size of 10 inches long on the neck and 13 inches from the nut to the end of the fingerboard. The fingerboard would gain length as the range of the hand positions increased by the players. The instrument is played with a bow. Although Monteverdi was one of the first to use the violoncello in his piece “Orfeo” in 1607, many cellists used the instrument. In the 17th century around Bologna, Petronio Franceschini, Domenico Garielli, and Maria Jacchini were all well known solo performers. There are sonatas written by famous composers such as Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Chopin, and Brahms. There has been a number of cello concertos written were the solo is accompanied by an orchestra. To name a few of those memorably pieces are: 25 by Vivaldi, 12 by Boccherini, A few pieces by Hayden,
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