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While doing an image search for “insect cellos” I came across this image (below) of a kroncong ensemble which has a cello in it. Kroncong (Keroncong) ensemble in Indonisia Quick reading shows that this folk ensemble has its origins in Portuguese influence during the 16th century and has evolved into what it is today. Obviously, what’s I’m most interested in is when did the cello become a part of the standard instrumentation–and how long have they been making scrolls with holes for three pegs rather than four . Obviously a number of the videos I’ve come across just seem to have a normal cello with one peg missing as they only use three strings in this style.
Home / Cover , Profiles The Center Stage auditorium at the Reston Community Center Reston, Virginia April 14, 2012—6 p.m. Video presentation by Molly Sheridan Transcribed by Julia Lu Homepage photograph by Jeffrey Rusch When Zoë Keating takes the stage, her charismatic presence—a perfect balance of focused performer and welcoming MC—exerts a magnetic attraction. If you have heard Keating’s music on recordings or encountered it in TV commercials , you are already familiar with the immersive worlds she conjures with her cello, using digital technology to build up an entire orchestra of sound out of the timbres of this one instrument. In live performance, however, her stage persona (which I strongly suspect is not all that different from her real-life self) adds a beautiful gloss to the work she is presenting.
When Plato waxed poetically about the "music of the spheres," he thought that there were mathematical relationships between the earth, the sun, the moon, and the planets which resembled the properties of a vibrating mass such as a tightened string or a tubular column of air. The ancient Greeks believed that there were astronomical ratios between earth and the heavenly bodies which were the same as the acoustic nature of a vibrating string. The source of their theory, the mathematical division of a string length, still provides one of the great timbral characteristics of stringed instruments - their ability to sound harmonics. These appropriately ethereal sounds create a wonderful contrast in color to the normal tone of a modern string instrument. However, the current notation of harmonics (flageolet in French) can be confusing to both composers and players.
At this point of technical development, current classically-trained string players use vibrato in every style and passage of music for better or worse. This constant application of vibrato became standard through the playing and teaching of great late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century artists like violinist Leopold Auer and cellist Pablo Casals. Today, the continuous vibrating of pitch by string players in Baroque- and Classical-era music produces romanticized renditions against which performance-practice advocates often shy away from in stylistic horror. What all of this means for anyone writing music for violin, viola, cello, or bass in these years preceding the new millennium is that they should expect string parts to be rendered with oscillations of pitch emulating the singing style of vocalists. Before discussing the latest contemporary and radically new applications in vibrato, a more specific understanding of the traditional technique is warranted.
A concert cellist whose memory was virtually wiped out by a brain infection may no longer remember the names of the composers whose work he once played before admiring audiences. But he can remember and recognize virtually every note of their compositions, and even more remarkably, can learn and commit to memory new pieces of music he did not know before a raging case of herpes encephalitis robbed him of his ability to recognize most of his family, recall details of his homeland or remember details of his own life before his illness. The findings from this remarkable case study, presented Sunday in Washington at the Society for Neuroscience's annual meeting , suggest that musical memory may be formed, stored and retrieved using an entirely different set of brain structures from those used for verbal or experiential memories.