Sunday, November 6, 2016

Cellos are Big. They Used to be Bigger.

By Andy Fein, Luthier, Fein Violins, Ltd.

If you've ever seen someone struggling down the street or up the stairs with a cello, your first thought might be "Wow! Those are big instruments!" Well, in the very long history of cellos, many of them used to be even bigger.
The 'Lord Aylesford' Stradivarius cello. A BIG cello
The standard body length of a modern cellos is about 750mm (29 1/2"). Before 1700, some monster cellos, even those made by great makers, were 760mm to 800mm (30" to 31.5"). These big cello were also proportionately wider in width. Think about that the next time you need to reach around your cello's upper bouts to play in upper positions!