THE BAROQUE BOW

wood and horse hair only...

a clip-in frog bow


The classical bows with screw appeared during the second half of the XVIIIth century, after the baroque period


view of the bow before cliping the nut in


view of the bow after cliping the nut in


This kind of bow is very strong, under a lot of tension compared to a bow with a screw mechanism.

BOW HOLDs



More

Underhand Bow-hold

Overhand Bow-hold

How to choose your bow hold?


Only you can decide... both were used!

Recommended read:
"Iconographic study of the violoncello and the way it was played up to the year 1800"
by Mark Meryn SMITH
"Certain Aspects of baroque music for the violoncello as finally exemplified in the suites for
unaccompanied violoncello by J.S. Bach. (thesis, doctorate, University of South Australia 1983-4)"

"THE CELLO BOW HELD THE VIOL WAY; 

ONCE COMMON, BUT NOW ALMOST FORGOTTEN"
by Mark Smith

Read - Page 47


I. DOCUMENTS DESCRIBING THE undERHAND BOW HOLD

paintings

historical document:


from "Allgemeine Muzikzeitung"

example of CELLISTS WHO PLAYED WITH UNDERHAND BOW HOLD



IN ITALY


Ferdinando III de Medicis
- 1663-1713 -

Ferdinando III, a patron of the arts
His Villa in Patrolino was a center of music where he held operatic production in a theater built for that purpose. Close to D. Scarlatti, he produced five of his operas. Ferdinando was also in contact with J.F. Handel. Vivaldi dedicated him L'Estro Armonico, a collection of twelve concertos for one, two and four violins.

Antonio Vandini

His career:


- Colleague of A. Vivaldi  in 1720
- First violoncellist of the Church of St. Antonio in Padua, concertmaster: Tartini (1721)
- 1723-26 : Accompanist of Tartini in Prague
- 1726-70: Back to his position of principal cello of the Church of St. Antonio in Padua.
- 1776-78: Back to Bologna his birth town where he taught until his death.
Composition for the violoncello:
  • Concerto in D major
  • Six Sonatas

Charles Burney, Excerpt from: “Music men, and manners in France and Italy 1770”


IN GERMANY


Markus Grauel

German cellist Markus Graüel was born in Eisenach in the first half of the eighteenth century, he joined the chamber musicians of the Prussian Court in Berlin from 1742 until 1798.

"M. Grauel, a violoncello performer in the king’s band, played a concerto; it was but ordinary music; however, it was well executed, though in the old manner, with the hand under the bow"
Excerpt from "An eighteenth century musical tour in central Europe and the Netherland."(1773)
Charles Burney

Johann Christoph Shetcky

His career:
Spent six months in Hamburg in 1761 where he got offered a Stradivarius
1761-68 Cellist of the court orchestra of Darmstadt
1768-69 Played concerts in Hamburg
Appeared in concerts in London where he got the patronage of J.C. Bach.

In 1799 the "Allgemeine Muzikzeitung" published a long biographical print where his bow hold is described, explaining that his thumb was laying on the frog of the bow, the index finger was alone on the stick, and the other fingers were on the bow hair.
see below...

first CELLo star WHO PLAYED WITH OVER HAND BOW HOLD


FRANCESCO ALBOREA

"Fransciscello", a travelling virtuoso

Born in 1691 in Napoli, Italy.

His playing and sound had an important impact in the development and the popularity of the violoncello.
After a performance with Scarlatti, Geminiani related that only an angel that had descended and assumed his shape could have played like that. Quantz describes him as «the incomparable violoncellist Fransciscello."
Employed at the Imperial chapel of Vienna from 1726 until his death, he received by far the highest salary paid to any violoncellist at the chapel (1260 fl. while the standard salary was between 150 and 500 fl.) His fame also inspired viola da gamba players to explore the new instrument. The French gamba player Martin Berteau was one of them. After hearing a concert of Alborea, he decided to dedicate the rest of his career to the violoncello.

about the over hand bow hold

observation of paintings and historical documents

Michel Corette's description
1741- end of the baroque period

Methode théorique et pratique pour apprendre en peu de temps de violoncelle dans sa perfection. - 1741

observation of Boccherini's bow hold

"Luigi Boccherini playing the violoncello"
Date: circa 1764-1767
Even if this is post baroque, the hand is still placed forward on the bow
credit: original file

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J.L DUPORT