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Re: [SCA Newcomers] Another instrument question...

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  • Nicole E. Miller
    The oldest know cellos were produces between 1540 and 1580, but did not really become the main-stay stringed instrument of that voice until the 18th century.
    Message 1 of 6 , Jan 10, 2012
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      The oldest know cellos were produces between 1540 and 1580, but did not really become the main-stay stringed instrument of that voice until the 18th century. Outwardly the modern cellos do resemble the bass the viola da gamba and can cover that line in period pieces. To my understanding the sound is a bit different, as steel wrapped wire did not exist, but I have seen many modern violins being used at events without anyone taking a second look.

      I wouldn't recommend trying to enter a period instrument competition with it (where true authenticity or sound or structure is required or very important) but for any other performance purpose - go for it!

      Sian
      ---- Maryelizabeth <peterbenma@...> wrote:

      =============
      My son is interested in the Cello. Is this an instrument that would be considered period? There is no way he is taking it to Pennsic but to smaller events, I can see *maybe* taking it.

      Thanks!

      Apollonia
    • i_love_latin
      Most people don t worry too much about whether your instrument is 100% period unless, as mentioned, you re entering a period instrument competition.
      Message 2 of 6 , Jan 11, 2012
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        Most people don't worry too much about whether your instrument is 100% period unless, as mentioned, you're entering a period instrument competition. Steel-wrapped strings are indeed rather unperiod, as is the modern bow (the medieval bow was shaped more like the bow and arrow, from which it got its name). The cello itself, however, is an entirely period early Renaissance instrument. The viola da gamba family were considered the more upperclass of the stringed instruments, but the violin also existed. The modern double bass is descended from the viola da gamba family, while the violin, viola, and cello descended from the violin family. Since nearly every instrument in the Renaissance belonged to a family of variously-sized versions of the instrument, the cello would have existed as part of the violin family.

        So basically, the cello is a period instrument; it's just been modernized like most other instruments, particularly in production of strings and bows. But it was its own instrument in period--it's not a remote descendant of the viola da gamba.

        As for what you'd be likely to play, you'd probably want to play the tenor or bass viola da gamba lines, as most people probably don't have a viola da gamba at events. Plus, since the violin began more as a folk instrument, fewer pieces specifying it as an instrument survive. Lastly, you can actually play the tenor line of just about any instrumental piece from the period; our modern concept of melodies being written for specific instruments didn't arise until the beginnings of the Baroque period.

        Hope that helps!
        Alana Goodewyn of Thescorre

        --- In scanewcomers@yahoogroups.com, "Nicole E. Miller" <schnauzer2@...> wrote:
        >
        > The oldest know cellos were produces between 1540 and 1580, but did not really become the main-stay stringed instrument of that voice until the 18th century. Outwardly the modern cellos do resemble the bass the viola da gamba and can cover that line in period pieces. To my understanding the sound is a bit different, as steel wrapped wire did not exist, but I have seen many modern violins being used at events without anyone taking a second look.
        >
        > I wouldn't recommend trying to enter a period instrument competition with it (where true authenticity or sound or structure is required or very important) but for any other performance purpose - go for it!
        >
        > Sian
        > ---- Maryelizabeth <peterbenma@...> wrote:
        >
        > =============
        > My son is interested in the Cello. Is this an instrument that would be considered period? There is no way he is taking it to Pennsic but to smaller events, I can see *maybe* taking it.
        >
        > Thanks!
        >
        > Apollonia
        >
      • Ellen Dimiduk
        (another newcomer here) So would a modern double bass be able to cover for viola da gamba in period music? That s what I play only I don t currently have
        Message 3 of 6 , Jan 12, 2012
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          (another newcomer here)
          So would a modern double bass be able to cover for viola da gamba in period
          music? That's what I play only I don't currently have anyone to play with
          (period or otherwise).
          Ellen

          On Wed, Jan 11, 2012 at 4:17 PM, i_love_latin <restuart@...>wrote:

          > **
          >
          >
          > Most people don't worry too much about whether your instrument is 100%
          > period unless, as mentioned, you're entering a period instrument
          > competition. Steel-wrapped strings are indeed rather unperiod, as is the
          > modern bow (the medieval bow was shaped more like the bow and arrow, from
          > which it got its name). The cello i(atself, however, is an entirely period
          > early Renaissance instrument. The viola da gamba family were considered the
          > more upperclass of the stringed instruments, but the violin also existed.
          > The modern double bass is descended from the viola da gamba family, while
          > the violin, viola, and cello descended from the violin family. Since nearly
          > every instrument in the Renaissance belonged to a family of variously-sized
          > versions of the instrument, the cello would have existed as part of the
          > violin family.
          >
          > So basically, the cello is a period instrument; it's just been modernized
          > like most other instruments, particularly in production of strings and
          > bows. But it was its own instrument in period--it's not a remote descendant
          > of the viola da gamba.
          >
          > As for what you'd be likely to play, you'd probably want to play the tenor
          > or bass viola da gamba lines, as most people probably don't have a viola da
          > gamba at events. Plus, since the violin began more as a folk instrument,
          > fewer pieces specifying it as an instrument survive. Lastly, you can
          > actually play the tenor line of just about any instrumental piece from the
          > period; our modern concept of melodies being written for specific
          > instruments didn't arise until the beginnings of the Baroque period.
          >
          > Hope that helps!
          > Alana Goodewyn of Thescorre
          >


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • i_love_latin
          Absolutely! I d still say probably not for period instrument competitions because of the modern strings and bow, but the double bass is the modern equivalent
          Message 4 of 6 , Jan 13, 2012
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            Absolutely! I'd still say probably not for period instrument competitions because of the modern strings and bow, but the double bass is the modern equivalent of the bass viola da gamba.
            Alana

            --- In scanewcomers@yahoogroups.com, Ellen Dimiduk <ellen.dimiduk@...> wrote:
            >
            > (another newcomer here)
            > So would a modern double bass be able to cover for viola da gamba in period
            > music? That's what I play only I don't currently have anyone to play with
            > (period or otherwise).
            > Ellen
            >
            > On Wed, Jan 11, 2012 at 4:17 PM, i_love_latin <restuart@...>wrote:
            >
            > > **
            > >
            > >
            > > Most people don't worry too much about whether your instrument is 100%
            > > period unless, as mentioned, you're entering a period instrument
            > > competition. Steel-wrapped strings are indeed rather unperiod, as is the
            > > modern bow (the medieval bow was shaped more like the bow and arrow, from
            > > which it got its name). The cello i(atself, however, is an entirely period
            > > early Renaissance instrument. The viola da gamba family were considered the
            > > more upperclass of the stringed instruments, but the violin also existed.
            > > The modern double bass is descended from the viola da gamba family, while
            > > the violin, viola, and cello descended from the violin family. Since nearly
            > > every instrument in the Renaissance belonged to a family of variously-sized
            > > versions of the instrument, the cello would have existed as part of the
            > > violin family.
            > >
            > > So basically, the cello is a period instrument; it's just been modernized
            > > like most other instruments, particularly in production of strings and
            > > bows. But it was its own instrument in period--it's not a remote descendant
            > > of the viola da gamba.
            > >
            > > As for what you'd be likely to play, you'd probably want to play the tenor
            > > or bass viola da gamba lines, as most people probably don't have a viola da
            > > gamba at events. Plus, since the violin began more as a folk instrument,
            > > fewer pieces specifying it as an instrument survive. Lastly, you can
            > > actually play the tenor line of just about any instrumental piece from the
            > > period; our modern concept of melodies being written for specific
            > > instruments didn't arise until the beginnings of the Baroque period.
            > >
            > > Hope that helps!
            > > Alana Goodewyn of Thescorre
            > >
            >
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
          • Maryelizabeth
            Thank you for your reply. I have been waiting to see what he is planning to do about the cello fornow.I think his interest is turning more towards archery
            Message 5 of 6 , Jan 23, 2012
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              Thank you for your reply. I have been waiting to see what he is planning to do about the cello fornow.I think his interest is turning more towards archery (tourney season and he is almost old enough for combat archery) for now.

              Thank you again forthe information and for taking your timetoanswer my question.

              Apollonia
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