Selecting an Old Cello

Advice from Zelia on choosing and buying an old cello.



How to Choose an Old Cello


An old cello that is right for you has to be carefully chosen. In this article, I talk about what to look for when buying an old cello.

To get good value when buying an old cello, the first thing to consider is its authenticity and its condition. Also, ask if it has been fully restored.

When you assess the tone of an old cello, you need to decide whether volume or quality of sound is the more important to you. For some players, projection of sound is a priority; for others, warmth of tone is preferred. Fine old Italian cellos can have both, but they are hard to find and very highly priced.

The nationality of the instrument:
Find out the nationality of the instrument. Old French cellos have a strong sound, as do modern ones. If you are looking more for warmth of tone, try an old English or a German cello. In setting up an old cello, my aim is to increase the quality of tone in some cellos and volume of sound in others.

During a player's career, both types of cello might be required, but at different times according to work requirements. It depends on whether your sound needs to penetrate or to blend. Such factors as the acoustics of halls most frequented and the character of instruments played by colleagues can also be relevant here. These are factors connected with the needs of professional or advanced players.

Young players should check that the cello has a clear, resonant sound on all strings and in different positions. Also that it is not hard to play and can produce a good range of dynamics.

For whatever purpose you need a cello, I will probably have the right one for you.


For assistance with finding an old cello,
call me on 020 8958 4456.
I'll be happy to help.


Also see our cellos for sale page when thinking of buying an old cello.



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