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cello?(There are no dumb questions, only dumb answers)

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by scottos150, Feb 19, 2003.


  1. How does a cello compare to other instuments Octavley, like a bass is an octave lower than a guitar?
     
  2. nikofthehill

    nikofthehill

    Jul 30, 2001
    san jose, CA
    A standard cello is tuned in 5ths, CGDA, like violins and violas.

    The low C on a cello is the same note as the C on the 8th fret of the E string of a bass.

    That means a bass is 2/3 of an octave lower.

    -nik
     
  3. Nick Gann

    Nick Gann Talkbass' Tubist in Residence

    Mar 24, 2002
    Silver Spring, MD
    It's like (conceptually, not literally) the baritone guitar of the Orchestral Strings family. It bridges the gap between the two.
     
  4. so, does a cello play on the treble cleff(sorry for my lack of knowledge)
     
  5. Nick Gann

    Nick Gann Talkbass' Tubist in Residence

    Mar 24, 2002
    Silver Spring, MD
    Yes. No. Both :D
     
  6. Nick Gann

    Nick Gann Talkbass' Tubist in Residence

    Mar 24, 2002
    Silver Spring, MD
    Me too. That's why I don't play cello ;)

    I am sure someone else knows more about cello, but that is my limited knowledge from orchestra class.
     
  7. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    didn't cellos read Tenor clef traditionally?

    I like the idea of a tenor bass(vic uses one, a bunch of other bassists use them) A-D-G-C
    as opposed to C-D-G-A so its like a backwards cello...on a bass ;)
     
  8. Nick Gann

    Nick Gann Talkbass' Tubist in Residence

    Mar 24, 2002
    Silver Spring, MD
    It's just violas. I little while ago, my orchestra conductor gave me the score to a song and I put it all into Finale so we could have a midi of it, and IIRC, the bass and cello were bass clef, the viola was tenor, and the violin was treble.


    I stress the IIRC ;)
     
  9. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    Actually, violas are written in alto clef. Bass and cello are written in bass clef, and both can use treble for extremely high parts. Both may also use tenor cleff for extended passages in that "tweener" range where either bass or treble would result in excessive use of ledger lines. Just recently I ran into extended passages in tenor clef in the Petracchi Thumb Position studies for Double Bass.
     
  10. Nick Gann

    Nick Gann Talkbass' Tubist in Residence

    Mar 24, 2002
    Silver Spring, MD
    *shakes fist at movable clef*

    Darn you, you movable clef! MAKE UP YOUR MIND!!!!

    ;)


    Just wondering... Is there a soprano clef? There are clefs for all other instrument ranges, but I have enver heard of soprano...
     
  11. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    Believe it or not, during the Baroque period there was not only a soprano clef, but also baritone and mezzo soprano clefs, although these are now all obsolete. As you might expect, each used a different line of the staff as the focus of the movable "C" clef.
     
  12. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    LOL@"Octavely" :D

    Like someone said, it's tuned in 5ths, and lowest string is the C two octaves below middle C (i.e. 3rd fret on A string on a bass).

    Thus, the strings are C G D A.

    It uses the bass clef, but also tenor, or even treble clef (therefore, it could use alto clef too, but I'm not sure if that is done in practice).

    It has a very wide range. I don't know what the highest note is, but it's pretty high.
     
  13. Nick Gann

    Nick Gann Talkbass' Tubist in Residence

    Mar 24, 2002
    Silver Spring, MD

    So the only clefs that are always in the same place would be the treble and bass clef, while there are 4 different movable clefs? (granted, 2 are obsolete)

    That's a lot of clefs...

    I assume that baritone clef is between tenor and bass, but where is mezzo soprano? I assume higher?
     
  14. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Not as high as artificial harmonics on a 24-fret bass guitar! ;)
     
  15. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    Well, mezzo soprano is a vocal classification which lies between alto and soprano, so its clef would be centered on the second lowest line of the staff. Soprano clef (which is pretty lame compared to treble clef, considering the actual soprano vocal range) would then be on the bottom line of the staff, while baritone clef would be centered on the top line of the staff. All of this is off the top of my head, but I'm pretty sure I got it straight.
     
  16. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Ahh, but you can play harmonics on a cello too! :D
     
  17. Bassoon uses bass, tenor and (if the part is extremely badly written) sometimes treble. Cello is very similar. I'm playing Cockaigne Overture with a local orchestra and the bassoon part is disgustingly written. There's a bar and a half of bass clef, half a bar of tenor then back to bass. Usually clef shifts from bass to tenor are because it would make the page look unwieldy to have loads of ledger lines for bar after bar.

    I have a double bass playing friend who has a "converted" cello - he added another string and tunes it in 4ths. :) So it's a five string "bass" tuned C-F-Bb-Eb-Ab. Gives him pretty much all the range of a cello, but it's easy for him to switch to. MAD! :D
     
  18. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Ah - but you can't play as high on a Cello - so there's no way you can play as close to the bridge on a Cello, as you can on a bass guitar with low action. ;)
     
  19. ceeprm

    ceeprm

    Jul 15, 2002
    Edinburgh Scotland
    My synth can get a higher note than any instrument......