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34

I would strongly advise you NOT to buy any instruments. You don't need to. Do you imagine composers play lots of instruments? They don't. The only instrument Berlioz played was a guitar - tolerably - yet he wrote a book on orchestration! What possible use would it have been to Ravel if he had learnt to play the harp?!! If you buy a violin you'll end up ...


30

By convention, a square fermata has a longer duration than a rounded fermata. It's not "upside down". Traditional notation convention usually tries to put the fermata over the note head, rather than the note stem. If the note is stemmed-down, them the fermata goes over the notehead, and the fermata dot will be below the fermata line. If the note ...


29

As a bowmaker, I would like to temper these answers a bit. Yes, if you leave a bow under tension too long, it will lose its camber (bend) faster. So that's true: one should get in the habit of loosening the bow. But- one, all bows lose camber eventually, even if they are loosened religiously, unless they meet some other untimely end beforehand, because ...


28

I'm going to suggest an alternative route. Get him an electric cello. The weak point in cheap instruments is the acoustics, and to meet the price point they have to be constructed in a more rough-and-ready manner. As soon as you go electric, you don't need those acoustics. Production is much more straightforward, and there are simply fewer variables with ...


26

The ϙ sign is just the “finger number” for the thumb – high notes on cello are played in thumb position and the ϙ indicates the C is played not with any of the normal four fingers but with the thumb, which here lies on the 6th position, i.e. as a barre across the C on the D-string (Ⅱ) and the G on the A-string (Ⅰ). The E between those two notes is played in ...


22

This happens on all stringed instruments. There are two reasons for that. As you already noticed yourself, pressing down the string does require bending it a little, i.e. stretching, which increases the tension. At least with steel strings, this is enough to audibly sharpen the pitch. Though an idealised model of the string is as a perfectly flexible, ...


21

I'd add to Dr. Mayhem's list: You never know when something will interrupt your plans. You might be 20 mins into a planned 1-hour break, and then the doorbell rings, you welcome a friend, ... next thing you know you're going out for lunch and completely forgetting the tensioned bow. By making a habit of loosening the bow every time you get up, you'll ...


20

... part of the violin family... Actually, as baroque violists love to point out, during the early evolution of these instruments, both violin and cello were part of the viola family. The viola was the default instrument, the violino was the "little" version (adding the diminutive suffix -ino), and the violone was the "big" version. ...


19

I assume it's french "si l'on veut" - "at one's pleasure" - "ad libitum". It means that the performer may decide freely playing the triples as written or to octavate them (as IMHO it isn't a slur but a 8va bracket).


17

Jazz cello is absolutely possible. Here are resources to get you started in your project. Note that most if not all of these come with contact information. You should not be shy about contacting musicians or organizations to ask questions or even to request interviews. History of cello in jazz http://prjazz.org/history-of-cello-in-jazz.html An introduction ...


14

I would always loosen it off for that one hour break, for two reasons: Over time, tension will eventually damage the bow. Keeping tension on when you don't need to will just shorten the lifespan of the bow. Maybe not by much, but: It is so easy to slacken and then re-tension the bow, that you might as well just get used to doing it.


14

IANAMPT (music physical therapist), so take this as encouragement rather than direction. I would not let any physical disability short of losing your arm :-) stop you from trying to learn the cello. Find a decent teacher who can either work with you directly or refer you to a music-oriented physiotherapist to figure out a functional bow grip position ...


13

Yes, holes need to be added for the strings. Pegs for violin family instruments are usually sold as "blanks" that are ready for shaping and setting. Because of the wear and use of the pegs, the peg hole sizes in the peg box will vary, requiring each peg to be individually shaped to correctly fit the hole. This is usually done by a trained professional using ...


12

The o-like symbol refers to the thumb. You finger that note with your thumb of your left hand. The roman numerals refer to the string you play on. I is the A string, II is the D string, III is the G string, and IV is the C string.


12

As a music instructor, I always advise against a person purchasing their first instrument. It's impossible to know for sure how well you will enjoy playing that specific instrument, whether the time investment of practice fits into your life, etc. So my advice is, if you like the cello, find a local music shop to rent one from. A monthly rental fee should ...


11

Your mixed feelings about cheap instruments are correct. For electronic instruments such as keyboards, cheap ones are somewhat acceptable, because they are mass-produced from stable materials and structures, and most importantly, they work because their software works. Once they are correctly designed, they can be correctly made, and they will be playable - ...


11

They are absolutely acceptable. I recommend you look around on forums and generally on the internet to hear what real people are saying about the cello you're thinking about. I'm an adult beginner and I bought a cecilio CCO-500. It doesn't sound or look amazing, but it is serviceable. I spent money on Helicore strings and a new bow and it really gets the ...


11

The piano might not even be playing. If it is, it is indeed probably the best reference. However in other circumstances it is possible that you would play a slightly different pitch for (example) an E natural as the major third on a C chord, compared to the fifth on an A chord. To understand why this is, you need to understand how intervals (like major ...


11

It does apply to any instrument, but for cello it's perhaps most notable because we so often play with instruments that have E-strings: violins, or else guitars. If you tune a cello in Pythagorean fifths down from an A-reference, and then a violinist tunes her e-string up a fifth from that, what you end up is a Pythagorean major third (plus three octaves) ...


11

tl;dr It's violoncello. Language considerations Lots of classical music words usually have a specific language as their origins (mostly italian), so, unless an extended literature can confirm standard spelling practice that altered the original word in other languages (that's how languages evolve), the original spelling is to be considered as the proper one: ...


10

You get higher notes in cello pieces. Not often perhaps but they are there. Elgar's cello concerto and the William Tell overture would be two examples. Any professional cellist would not have a problem with that note. So my advice would be just to write it as a note.


9

It is actually misleading to think about this music in terms of chords as we know them, as the system we use to identify and speak about vertical harmonies was still under development during Bach's time. Bach had no concept of a "suspended chord" for instance. Bach did not think of chords the way a guitarist does (moveable stacks of exact intervals, with ...


9

There are multiple possible ways how this passage (Jupiter, bars 170-190 that would be, I presume) could be played. I'll discuss three of them: Two-hands, single-finger, single-string Here's a rendition of the passage where you can clearly see them alternating with both hands, each using just a single finger. So that would perhaps be the “correct answer”. ...


9

As someone else has already said, this symbol indicates that the player should play at the heel or frog of the bow. These images are from an edition of Bach's 6 Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin (BWV 1001-1006) and exactly match the symbol in your score.


8

The answer to the main question in the title is : NO, be firm but as light as possible in your grip ! But it may take time to be achieved, and it does not always come naturally. Now to the details and the very good points you mention the bumping cello A cello is quite heavy, and is usually putting most of its weight on the pique and the upper part of ...


8

There are some things that will make you lose less: a big revelation for me was when I realized I was using way more bow and force than necessary. A combination of weight (literal weight, let gravity do more of the work than muscle) and a slow stroke using minimal bow length helped a lot. Also, the examples here are amplified; if possible, practice the ...


8

Hmmm, no I don't think I've noticed a particular break-in period myself, but maybe I just haven't noticed. If you've changed brands or makes at all, you might just have to get used to a new feel. I have however, had days when it's very hard to shift smoothly, often due to weather. One thing that has helped a great deal is to take an almond and break it in ...


8

The safest place to put your cello is back in its case. It really doesn't matter how you put a cello down on the floor or on a chair: there's still a reasonably good (bad) chance that someone will trip over it, or tip a stand over onto it, etc. Yeah, I'm paranoid, but that's what happens when you realize your instrument is worth as much as a small car :-) .


8

Cheap instruments are almost always going to be a pain to play and upkeep, but you are right in that some are more playable than others. Cheap woodwinds and brass are especially bad in that the cheap, weaker metal that's used to make them along with awful designs make it really easy to damage them beyond repair. Luckily cheaps strings aren't nearly as bad in ...


8

He explains this right at the start of the book (First Edition, from IMSLP). Tirez = pull, Poussez = push. In other words, ^ is a different notation for a down bow.


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