The Physics and Science of the Violoncello Essay

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The violoncello, or more commonly known as the cello, is often referred to as the tenor of the string family. The name ‘violoncello’ literally means “little violone”- where ‘one’ means big and ‘cello’ means little. The violone was the lowest-pitched instrument of the Viol family. By the end of the 19th century, the term “violincello” has been more or less replaced with “cello”. The cello has four strings, tuned in relations of perfect 5ths. This fact is derived from the phenomenon of the overtone series; a perfect fifth is the second overtone above the fundamental, and the first non-repetitious overtone. Therefore, relations of perfect fifths are the strongest relations in the musical language, and are used for tuning as well as major …show more content…

The cello is usually made of wood, although materials such as carbon fiber or aluminum may be used in place. Luis & Clark is a very cello manufacturer that constructs carbon fiber cellos. They are suited for outdoor concerts and events because of its resistence and strength to temperature and humidity. The wood that’s used for construction includes spruce for the top, maple for the back, sides, and neck. The top and back parts of the cello are usually hand-carved. The sides are formed by heating up the wood and bending them. The body of the cello has two wide bouts at the top and bottom, and two C bouts at the middle. A bridge and two f-holes are in place below the middle part. The top and back parts of the cello has purfling- a decorative border inlay. However, purfling is not just decoration; it is used to protect the instrument from cracks. Because of playing, traveling, and/or the weather, the cello may form cracks around the rim, but the pufling helps the crack spreading further to the top or the back.
Above the top part of the cello is the neck, pegbox, and, the scroll. They are usually carved out of a single piece of maple. The fingerboard, which is glued to the neck, is spread over the body. The nut is a raised piece of wood at the top of the fingerboard that keeps the strings in the correct spots and distance. The pegbox has four tuning pegs, which have the four strings tied to it. The strings are tuned by tuning the pegs, so that the

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