an introduction to the baroque cello
Baroque cello made by Daniel J. König
WHAT IS A BAROQUE CELLO?
the baroque era
Between 1600 and 1750 many changes happened in the music forms but not only...
the "violoncello" was born!
.a bass instrument
What we call nowadays baroque cello cannot refer to only one type of instrument.
Almost all the basses like the one above were cut down to violoncello size after the baroque period.
(Among them, Amati's King bass)
The Servais, made in 1701 back length: 78,2
the bow: clip in, no screw
The screw system appeared after 1750, during the classical era. The first bows with a screw in the nut are called transitional bow.
A CLOSER LOOK...
For the first string set up, it is recommended to take your cello to a guts strings maker, or to contact one for advice. The maker will calculate the tension, the diameter and the string length needed for your instrument. (In my case, I was lucky to go to Pure Corde for my first set up, you can also order strings here)
- shorter than a modern bass bar
- generally oriented parallel to the centerline of the instrument, either under the bass bridge foot or in the center of the instrument.
Le mot de la fin...
Good news: you don't need a stradivarius to play baroque cello ;)
Almost all the celli of the baroque period have been transformed to modern set up (including neck, fingerboard, bass bar, sound post, bridge, and size for most of the instruments made before 1700).
Playing a 300 years old wood is not the most important knowing that the cellos in the baroque era were recently made, meaning no old wood, just dry wood. An historical set up on a newly made instrument with baroque mesures is, to my opinion, the most authentic approach (and affordable for a musician!).