Aliжnor Lutherie - Home
Alienor Lutherie presents to you it's Cello history.

> Instruments > Cello


Just like for the double bass, the history of the cello goes back to the creation of the family of violins in the16th century in Italy. It is probable that its most direct ancestor is rather the Rebeck, a sort of flat cello with 3 chords, which accompanied the troubadours in their displacements. The first cello was built around 1552 by Andrea Amati (1535-1612), a luthier from Cremona.  Previously, the low notes were played by the viola da gamba, but was definitively replaced in the 17th century.

Just until the end of the 18th century, where it acquired its current dimensions, the cello was an instrument of accompaniment, which played the bass lines and filled the musical structures. With the harpsichord, it completed the continuous bass notes and thus founding the bases of  harmony for a musical work.  It is in the 18th century that this instrument started to impose itself. Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) wrote 27 concertos for the cello; Luigi Boccherini (1734-1805) also wrote concertos for the cello, being himself a cellist virtuoso. Rossini (1792-1868), was especially known as a violinist, but also equally worked with the cello.  In the 19th century, works for cello included concertos composed by Johannes Brahms, Schumann, Lalo (1823-1892), Saint Saens and by the Czech composer Antonìn Dvorák (1841-1904). At the same time, Jacques Offenbach (1819-1880), especially known as a composer of operettas, also magnificiently played the cello. In addition, Chopin, Beethoven, Brahms and Mendelssohn wrote parts for the cello and piano.

In the 20th century, composers such as Serge Prokofiev and Dimitri Chostakovitch were exploring the capacities of the cello as a soloist instrument. It has the most low sound, after the double bass, in the family of violins, it is bulky (its dimensions are exactly 4 times those of the violin). Perhaps this explains the slowness of its development compared with that of the violin.

The cello is a large musical intrument with a low tessitura from the family of violins, it is held between the knees of the cellist. It has four tuned chords, giving a range of C, G, D, A (with a C two octaves below the natural C!; even the A is also below it). Its tessitura extends over more than four octaves. The learning of the cello was often considered a true martyrdom.  However, the rise of  musical compositions for the cello soloist has allowed a  progressive method to set for the teaching of this instrument. Today the academies and music schools teach the cello with children less than 6 years old. It goes without saying that their training cannot be done on a full-sized instrument.   Music teachers therefore use smaller-sizes (1/16, 1/8, 1/4, 1/2 or 3/4).

Today, the cello is considered a noble instrument, for which musicians have the deepest respect. However, it still remains largely unrecognised while its wide repetory and its low sonority has already seduced many young ladies… And yes, sirs, these ladies appreciate very much the cello!





Dernière modification :