A comparison of fractional-sized to full-sized cellos

Research output: Contribution to journalConference article

Abstract

Fractional-sized cellos (3/4, 1/2, etc.) are designed for the same musical playing range as a full-sized (4/4) cello but with scaled proportions for players for whom a full-sized cello is too large. The strings are adjusted in order to compensate for the shorter string length of the smaller instruments and obtain the correct tuning. The cello body vibration, which is strongly coupled to the internal air cavity, would not be expected to scale in the same manner as the strings. This causes the bridge impedance seen by the strings on the fractional-sized cellos to differ from the bridge impedance seen by the strings on a full-sized cello. In this paper, the physical dimensions of a 1/2 and 3/4 cello are compared with a full cello. Drive point measurements are also compared to illustrate how the strings couple differently with the body of each size cello. The fractional-sized cellos are found to exhibit a slightly different sound due to the bridge impedance mismatch.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number035002
JournalProceedings of Meetings on Acoustics
Volume33
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018
Event175th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America - Minneapolis, United States
Duration: May 7 2018May 11 2018

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strings
impedance
proportion
tuning
vibration
cavities
acoustics
causes
air

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics

Cite this

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title = "A comparison of fractional-sized to full-sized cellos",
abstract = "Fractional-sized cellos (3/4, 1/2, etc.) are designed for the same musical playing range as a full-sized (4/4) cello but with scaled proportions for players for whom a full-sized cello is too large. The strings are adjusted in order to compensate for the shorter string length of the smaller instruments and obtain the correct tuning. The cello body vibration, which is strongly coupled to the internal air cavity, would not be expected to scale in the same manner as the strings. This causes the bridge impedance seen by the strings on the fractional-sized cellos to differ from the bridge impedance seen by the strings on a full-sized cello. In this paper, the physical dimensions of a 1/2 and 3/4 cello are compared with a full cello. Drive point measurements are also compared to illustrate how the strings couple differently with the body of each size cello. The fractional-sized cellos are found to exhibit a slightly different sound due to the bridge impedance mismatch.",
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A comparison of fractional-sized to full-sized cellos. / Blanford, Thomas; Shepherd, Micah R.; Jerome, Trevor W.

In: Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics, Vol. 33, No. 1, 035002, 01.01.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalConference article

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AB - Fractional-sized cellos (3/4, 1/2, etc.) are designed for the same musical playing range as a full-sized (4/4) cello but with scaled proportions for players for whom a full-sized cello is too large. The strings are adjusted in order to compensate for the shorter string length of the smaller instruments and obtain the correct tuning. The cello body vibration, which is strongly coupled to the internal air cavity, would not be expected to scale in the same manner as the strings. This causes the bridge impedance seen by the strings on the fractional-sized cellos to differ from the bridge impedance seen by the strings on a full-sized cello. In this paper, the physical dimensions of a 1/2 and 3/4 cello are compared with a full cello. Drive point measurements are also compared to illustrate how the strings couple differently with the body of each size cello. The fractional-sized cellos are found to exhibit a slightly different sound due to the bridge impedance mismatch.

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