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Christopher Jacoby

da Spalla

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On ‎9‎/‎30‎/‎2019 at 12:21 PM, gtd said:

Thanks, I finally was able to remember this recording. 

This bow looks like it could really shoot arrows. I suppose getting those short, thick, gut strings to speak requires something weapon-like.

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Amazingly, I think that "violoncello da spalla" is an entirely invented term of the last 20 years, and I would be very interested to be stood corrected about any historical precedent for that term. Viola da spalla would seem to be the historical term, but at the risk of being a dirty ol' cynic, it's not so marketable for the cello suites. 

By all means, these intermediary instruments existed. The 24 violins du roi had small, intermediate and large violas, the biggest being called quints (which is pronounced unfortunately)  which would seem to be much the same as these. As of my own big-boy which is a Barak Norman, well the English court copied the French court so it is probably what appears in 17th century documents as a "low tenor". This corresponds in size with the big tenore Cremonese violas, but simply have cello-scaled ribs. 

I am not sure what to say about strings either. Mine has a perfectly preserved pegbox for only four strings. The Bachology really comes from the fact that there is a JC Hofmans one of these things, and he knew Bach. I think they are a marvellous thing, but I don't feel that the historicity of them really meets anything more than a worn hypothesis. 

One thing, the folds on the back of my Norman seem to do acoustically limit the back so that it doesn't have the hollow sound that normally comes from very large violas. I think there is something to learn from that. 

Here's a project we did on this, given a different set of links... .enjoy! 

https://hebbertsviolins.wordpress.com/2018/01/06/a-grand-experiment-childe-haroldes-tenore-and-a-170th-anniversary-concert/

 

 

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