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Word Count: 444
From initial appearances one would not think that there is much difference between Baroque and Modern cellos However before public concerts really became mainstream events in the early 18th century the Violoncello differed slightly in both its characteristics and its uses in performance Because the cello was not primarily employed as a solo instrument in the Baroque period there are some significant elements in its setup that cause it to have a much different sound than a Modern cello Most modern cellos are set up with higher bridges which create a state of high tension that maximises tone production and the ability of the instrument to be heard well in large performance halls In the smaller performance enviornments of the Baroque era the ideal sound for instruments was one of internal resonance and this was achieved through a lower tension setup with the bridge For the most part Cellists today prefer to use metal strings This differs greatly from the Baroque practice of using gut strings Metal strings chiefly made because of their ability to produce a brighter and more piercing sound allow the performer to project more easily in a large hall This is less appealing in the performance of early music so using gut strings to create a softer more translucent tone and quieter high harmonics allow the sound to blend more easily with the resonances of other instruments The Baroque Cello is also played without an endpin which makes it easier to play on these gut strings This original hold of the cello on the legs allows a greater freedom of movement in the upper body The endpin on a modern cello brings the instrument against the body and angles it in such a way that it facilitates the technical difficulties associated with modern compositions A direct comparision in the difference in sound created by these drastically different methods of holding the instrument would make it instantly apparent to almost
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