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Baroque cello: masterclasses, workshops and courses

The cello that our good friends Bach and Handel once played is not the same cello that we have today in orchestras, chamber ensembles, or on stage. Although compared to how many other instruments have changed and evolved over time, this evolution has not been particularly dramatic. Visually, there are only slight differences between the baroque cello and the modern cello.
Baroque cello being a bass instrument is similar to the electric bass and/or rhythm guitar in any rock band type group. The baroque cello, upon observation, has a shorter fingerboard than modern cellos. Due to its shorter fingerboard, violoncello was relocated to the bass position in any ensemble. Harpsichord is more like the actual bass of this time.

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Eventually, the cello would become more of a tenor and soloist instrument. This meant that it would have to play much higher. That wasn’t possible with its original fingerboard, so the modern cello has a much longer fingerboard.
The courses are dedicated to cellists that would like to deepen their knowledge of the performance practice of the baroque and classical period. Particular attention will be given to the use of bow articulation, a fundamental key for the interpretation of 18th century music. During the course there will be workshops focused on the execution of Basso Continuo. Students that have a good knowledge of harmony will have the possibility to study the chord realizations of the recitations found in the vocal music of the 18th century.
The courses focuses on playing early cellos, from the Renaissance to classical period. It is part of a unique pedagogical project. The Baroque cello course helps students gain a fine understanding of the difference between techniques for playing different instruments as related to the different eras, places and contexts in which they were played, as related to the functions of consort, basso continuo and soloist, and taught in direct relation the courses in applied theory taught within the Early Music department, helping students to gain a comprehensive training in artistic, practical and theoretical skills alongside general and cultural skills.

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Alongside the weekly group and individual, instrumental and chamber music courses, each year students also participate in projects organised by the cello class (open class, projects around the topic basses, etc.), and by the department (colloquia, concerts, seminars, orchestra sessions, conferences). The training also includes courses in reading, theory, and writing. Instruments, bows and scores are made available for use by students (instruments with 4 or 5 strings, with different strings, bass violins, bows). Students receive a solid musical, cultural and general training, including a good overview of practice for all early cellos.
Students can then build on this solid foundation, allowing them to further develop their specific approach to their instrumental and artistic work, in particular work as a soloist. This culminates in the realisation of a personal artistic project at the end of their studies. During this second cycle, chamber music grows in importance, and leads students to develop links to the professional world (concerts, recordings...).
Starting your musical career in baroque cello performance is easy! Apply for baroque cello courses and private lessons on our site. Get full-fledged baroque cello studies and workshops.
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