Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2008/05/07

[Author Prev] [Author Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Author Index] [Topic Index] [Home] [Search]

Subject: [Leica] Senior Solo
From: bjq1 at (Bernard Quinn)
Date: Wed May 7 19:13:01 2008
References: <>


Nice shot! He's a handsome lad, indeed. I'm sure he'll break some  
hearts before all is said and done, if you don't mind my saying so.  
To comment on some of the other posts in this thread.....

Cellos were larger in Bach's day. Most of them have had the musical  
equivalent of breast reduction surgery. My cello is three hundred  
years old. It proudly bears the scars from when it was cut down to a  
more manageable size. Today the length of the strings is  
standardized, but the size of the body isn't. When people think of a  
standard cello the mental picture they usually have in is of the  
Stradaveri Model B. Even the master himself experimented with various  
cello sizes until he hit on dimensions he really liked. Guarneri  
models are a quarter of an inch bigger across than a Strad, and  
Montagnana models are much wider across the bottom than Strads,  
giving them marvelous bass tones.

Up until the nineteenth century cellos were indeed played by holding  
them between the calf's of your legs. Cello folk lore has it that the  
end pin was invented by a famous cellist who, to but it delicately,  
was too portly to hold a cello in the traditional manner. What  
fascinates me is the fact that when my cello was made cellos were  
used in marching bands. I have trouble imagining doing this. If you  
look at the back of a cello if this vintage you will usually see a  
the remains of a small hole located on the center seam. A strap was  
attached to a wooden peg, and then it was then put through the hole  
in the back of the cello. This was how they attached a strap so that  
you could march around with it. Almost all antique string instruments  
have been modified in one way or another. Cellos, Violas, and Violins  
have also had the angle the fingerboard makes with the body increased  
and the curve of the bridge increased. This was done to increase the  
volume of the instruments as musicians moved from making their  
livings playing in small chambers to playing the concert halls.

Cellists owe Bach a major debt of gratitude. Before his day the upper  
and refined classes played Viols of various sizes. To this day Double  
Basses still have a family resembelance to their anscestors the  
Viols. They have concave shoulders, unlike the shoulders of Violins,  
Violas, and Cellos which are rounded. Before Bach members of the  
Violin family were held in low repute and tended to be associated  
with unsavory things like the country dancing master, sex, and  
alcohol! :-) In those days we ranked right up there with the court  
jester! It was Bach's Suites for Solo cello which really helped the  
Cello gain respectability.

People still play on gut strings. I often use them. This is a subject  
of great controversy among cellists. Many people think that their  
sound is superior to metal core strings. I certainly do. In olden  
times cello strings were just plain raw uncovered gut gut. The C  
string, the lowest in pitch on the cello, could run a quarter of an  
inch in diameter. I can't imagine what that sounded like, but it must  
have been pretty tubby. In Baroque days they started to wind the gut  
strings with round silver wire to cover them. Today they are would  
with flat wire. An unwrapped gut A string is a holy horror to play  
on. Other than that gut strings are lots of fun, although they don't  
stay in tune at all well.

This is probably more than anyone wants to know about the subject.


On May 7, 2008, at 4:32 PM, Sonny Carter wrote:

> Last night, Eric played his Senior solo at the Fall Concert of the
> Natchitoches Central High School Orchestra.
> He  played the 1st movement of Eccles Sonata in g minor, and it was  
> moving
> to hear and see how he has developed as a bassist.  His Mom wept,  
> it was so
> beautiful.   Here's a shot of him just as he finished, and just  
> before the
> standing ovation.
> Now, he'll probably kill me for this, and many of you  remember  
> these shots,
> so I thought it appropriate to share them at this time.
> -- 
> Regards,
> Sonny
> Natchitoches, Louisiana
> _______________________________________________
> Leica Users Group.
> See for more information

Replies: Reply from don.dory at (Don Dory) ([Leica] Senior Solo)
Reply from r.s.taylor at (Richard Taylor) ([Leica] Senior Solo)
In reply to: Message from sonc.hegr at (Sonny Carter) ([Leica] Senior Solo)