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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Chordal Cello Accompaniment: The Proof and Practice of Figured Bass Realization on the Violoncello from 1660–1850
by Whittaker, Nathan H., D.M.A., University of Washington, 2012, 144; 3506528
Abstract (Summary)

For the better part of two centuries, the cello and cellist utilized a specific manner of accompaniment, one which, in recent times, has become a lost art on this instrument: the realization of figured bass. From the middle of the seventeenth century until the middle of the eighteenth century, the cello accompanied violinists, flutists, singers, and even other cellists with chordal accompaniment. Evidence for the practice resides in the titles of works (especially considering the common designation Violone ó Cembalo in the titles of works written during the Baroque period), the forerunners and development of the cello, methods and treatises, and the music itself. With the decline of figured bass in the Classical period, cellists utilized their harmonic accompanying ability in the realization of secco recitative, in which cellists (often with the help of a double bass), not keyboardists, would realize the harmonies for the singers on stage. The cello methods of Baumgartner, Glum, Corrette, Raoul, Baudiot, Stiastny, Schetky, and the Paris Conservatoire, as well as specific harmonic studies such as those by Antonii and Supriani (Scipriani), teach the proper realization of figured bass and its execution on the cello. Music that cellists encountered, such as compositions by Corelli, Händel, and J. S. Bach, as well as compositions by the cellists themselves, such as those by Jacchini, Bononcini, Masse, and Boccherini, allow further insight into the practice. The role of the Baroque and Classical cellist was typically that of accompanist, a function accomplished through the art of chordal accompaniment.

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Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Saks, Toby
School: University of Washington
School Location: United States -- Washington
Source: DAI-A 73/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Music
Keywords: Arpeggiation, Baumgartner, Jean-Baptiste, Cello accompaniment, Figured bass, Performance practice, Recitative, Violoncello
Publication Number: 3506528
ISBN: 978-1-267-30672-2
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