my conclusions on the topic
I believe there should not be a parallel evolution, where the period instruments being made today also, are ever getting higher tensions too.
The bowings have a major impact in the vibration of the instrument.
By this publication, I would like to encourage cellists to start rediscovering the cello with the same pleasure I had during this project. Johann Sebastian Bach left us a treasure where everything falls naturally into place when playing the basses notes on an up bow, following the technique of the viols, without having to add pressure through the bow.
To illustrate this publication and research, I recorded the Six Bach Cello Suites applying mostly the same bowing motion of the viols, following my analysis of the manuscript copies of the Suites.
Have we chosen the best bowing technique, bow-hold and set up for the cello and its evolution?
Viola da braccio & Viola da gamba In 1550, Philibert Jambe de Fer explains that the difference between the violins and the viols was the social class of the players.
"Why do you call one type of instruments viols, and others violins?
We call viols those upon which gentlemen, merchants, and other virtuous persons pass their time."
Most of the 16th c. instruments had only four or five strings.
I believe, like Philibert Jambe de Fer stated in 1550, that the origin of the difference between the viols and the violin was the initial purpose of the instrument, the social class the players and their audience.
It is important to take in consideration that:
· During the baroque period, the same bass line of the continuo was played by the bass bowed instruments : viola da basso no matter the shape they had.
· The underhand bow grip was not reserved to the viols. It was of common use among the cellists until the middle of the eighteenth century and was still used until the beginning of the nineteenth century in Germany.
· Until the middle of the eighteenth century, cello methods mention the bowing for the Arpeggios and Batteries (characteristic figures of the baroque period), explaining that the bass had to be played on the up bow.
· No matter if playing the lutes, viols or violins; when playing the bass of the chord, the arm was going toward the sound board and the other strings, using the natural weight of the arm.
· Quantz in his essay explains that it Germany it was common that cellists played with a bow strokes similar to the one on the viola da gamba.
By consequence, I believe that in order to get the best sound from the instrument, applying a bowing technique similar to the technique of the viola da gamba in the Bach cello Suites is something we cellists should consider becaue it has a major impact on phrasing and on the way of sounding a string.
Nunc sapien mauris, imperdiet ac pellentesque quis, facilisis non sapien. Maecenas congue vehicula mi, id luctus mi scelerisque nec. Cras viverra libero ut velit ullamcorper volutpat.