Dynasty and Alchemy or a Brief Foray into the Evolution of the Cello


  • FILIP CRISTIAN PAPA Universitatea Națională de Arte „George Enescu” Iaşi ROMANIA




cello, luthiers, Stradivarius, Guarneri, Amati


The beginnings of scientific research in this field date back to the 16th century, when the first treatise on the subject was published. At the beginning of said century, the ancestor of string instruments - the fiddle - was gradually replaced by the lyre, an instrument developed in the first and kept in use until the middle of the following century. The Italian schools of luthiers, through members of the famous Amati, Guarneri and Stradivarius families, made an essential contribution to the present form of string instruments. The cello is considered to be the lowest sounding instrument of the violin family, its Italian name “violoncello” including both the superlative suffix“-one”, and the diminutive “ello” – “a big little violin” in translation. The term “violoncello” was used more often in publications of the late 17th century, although the earlier term “violone” persisted until the end of the following century. The basic, Stradivarius-standardized form of the cello was very little changed in the 19th century. Cello manufacture continued to be based on Italian models, particularly Stradivarius Type B. The question “Quo vadis the performance and composition dedicated to it?” is a recurring one in this century, marked by the rapid pace at wich all aspects of social, cultural and artistic life evolve. It is with joy, pride and hope that we can answer that the future of the cello and of violin performance is in good hands, both nationally and internationally, as long as musical art endures...



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