Cello Bow


This is a unique example of cello bow craftsmanship, "La Souverain".  The Spanish archetier collaborated with a jeweller to create the ferrule and the jewel encrusted frog.  

As with the Violin bow the Cello bow has a certain differance to that of the other stringed instruments.  For a more comprehensive history of the development of modern bow technique and design see the article on our website on the violin bow.  This article will focus more specifically on the differances in their construction and how it works with the design of the Cello in order to produce its music.     The standard Cello bow is seventy three centimeters (which is shorter than the models used for the violin or viola).  Its height from the base of the frog to the top of the stick (the main structure of the bow) is about three centimeters and its width is approximately one and a half centimeters wide.  The Cello bow in particular is about ten grams heavier than the viola bow, which in turn is roughly ten grams heavier than its counterpart in the Violin.

The frog (the clip which holds in place the hair of the bow to the stick) is similar to that of the Viola in that it has a rounded corner but is wider to support the weight of the bow.  In the Baroque style Cello bows were thicker and were designed with a outward arch.  The modern style by comparison uses an inward arch to give both greater tension and a louder sound.   The science behind the shorter bow is that with higher pitched instruments (such as its sister instruments the Viola and Violin) the string produces pitch in line with its frequency of motion and strength behind the player.  That action requires more contact with the string in order to maintain sound, hence a longer bow.  With the lower pitch of the Cello and the thicker string arrangement it both needs less contact to produce pitch and a heavier bow in order to produce the nessecary friction to maintain good sound.