Scala Corta Cello

What is Scala Corta Cello?

Scala Corta Cello is a regular 4/4 size cello with an ultra-short string length of 655mm.

A regular 4/4 cello has a string length of 690mm-700mm and a regular 7/8 size cello has a string length of 675mm-680mm depending upon the model.

Is it a 7/8 or 3/4 size cello?

No, the body length is that of a standard 4/4 cello.

Can I use regular full size cello strings?

Yes, we have tried many different brands such as Larsen, Spirocore, Jargar and Kaplan, they all work well on the cello.

Why is the C peg higher in the pegbox than on regular cello?

The C-peg sits higher on the cello to avoid it touching your neck. The placement is possible through an elongated peg box- measured from the floor it actually sits 1 cm higher than the C-peg of a regular 4/4 cello.

Who should be considering Scala Corta cello and why?

Anyone can play it. Scala Corta is especially comfortable for people with small hands, short fingers, or arthritis.

How long will it take me to adjust my intonation?

It only takes a few minutes to adjust to the shorter string length.

I understand there is a carbon fiber rod installed in the neck of the cello, why?

Because we want the neck as thin as possible, we install carbon fiber rods to make it stiffer for longevity. Another positive side effect is a better body resonance.

What is the advantage of using a flaxwood fingerboard?

Ebony is already a protected species, unfortunately due to illegal harvesting practices such as poaching ebony from National Parks it becomes more endangered. It is also harder to find good ebony for cello fingerboards. Flaxwood is manmade in Finland from wood particles and special resin. It will not twist or otherwise change its shape like some ebony does due to irregular grain lines and imperfections.

Why do all of the Scala Corta celli come with New Harmony end pins?

New Harmony endpins have been used by the most discerning cellists for a long time. The plug design and the super sharp tip on the carbon fiber rod make this endpin the best on the market, and they are made in the USA.

Is Scala Corta a totally new idea?

Not really, Italian instrument makers such as Gasparo Da Salo of Brescia have been making instruments with varied string lengths as early as the 1590s. The standardization of string length was introduced in the advent of the industrial age to stream line mass production of stringed instruments in France and Germany.

Where can I try one out?

You can look up the dealer list on the Scala Corta website and contact your nearest dealer. We also have a list of Scala Corta owners that may live in your area and are willing to let you take a look at their Scala Corta if the nearest dealer is too far away.

I understand the cello is sold as an outfit with carbon fiber case, why?

We want the cello as protected as possible. Standard 4/4 cases are not a good enough fit for the cello, so we decided to have a light weight case made for it.

If you are interested in trying a Scala Corta, fill out the form below and we’ll contact you to answer any questions and schedule a time that you can try one.

Violin Bridges – 6 things to look for

Violin Bridge Blank vs Fitted Bridge

Violin bridge blank & fitted bridge

Violin bridges should be individually tailored. Bridges come from the supplier partially finished and it is a common misconception that a bridge “blank” can be installed directly on an instrument without modification. This could not be farther from the truth! Bridges serve the vital function of transmitting the strings’ vibrations to the body of the instrument and therefore must be fitted to each individual instrument. Otherwise, the sound and play-ability will be compromised. Here’s how to tell if a bridge has been fit correctly:

 

 

The notch on the f-hole should point to the center of the bridge's foot.

The notch on the f-hole should point to the center of the bridge’s foot.

It’s in the right spot. You know how the f-holes have those graceful little notches on each side? Well, there is an actual purpose to those beside just looking attractive. They are handy indicators of where the bridge should go. If you extended a line across the middle of the instrument from one notch to the other, that line would go straight through the middle of the bridge.

The bridge should also straddle the center line that runs lengthwise along the instrument’s top. To ascertain if this is true, you can sight down the fingerboard towards the bridge. A bridge that is centered on the fingerboard is likely centered on the instrument. Of course, this assumes that the neck of the instrument (to which the fingerboard attaches) has been properly set– just one more reason the Beau Vinci approach, starting with rigorous examination, is so important.

 

Centered violin bridge vs off-center bridge

Centered violin bridge vs off-center bridge

The feet fit perfectly. Examine closely the part of the bridge that contacts the top of the instrument (we call these the “feet”). There should be no gaps. A skilled luthier will use a very sharp tool to remove wood from the bridge feet until they conform exactly to the arching on the top of the instrument. Not only will ill-fitting feet be poor conveyors of the energy generated by the bow stroking the strings, they can also damage the wood of the instrument’s top.

You can imagine how much sound will be lost by the bridges on the left.

You can imagine how much sound will be lost by the bridges on the left.

 

The base of the bridge is 90° to the top of the violin. It takes away slightly at the top.

The base of the bridge is 90° to the top of the violin. It takes away slightly at the top.

The back of the bridge is at a 90 degree angle to the top of the instrument. The unstamped side of the bridge which faces the player, should be at roughly 90 degrees to the top of the instrument when viewed from the side. If it’s tilted too far in either direction, this increases the risk of the bridge falling down and damaging the top of the instrument. The back of the bridge should also appear flat, rather than cupped, which indicates that it has started to warp. Note that we actually remove a small amount of wood from the upper part of the back of the bridge to strengthen the bridge and counteract its tendency for warping.

The bridge is not flat. Picture a cathedral and think about the shape of the buttresses that have to support tons of heavy stone. Are they straight or curved? Architects have known for a long time that an arched shape is far stronger than a perfectly flat one. So why would you want the piece of your musical equipment that has to withstand all that downward pressure from the strings to be flat and risk having a warped bridge? At Beau Vinci we strengthen each bridge with gentle arching on the front, as well as a slightly relieved back. At the same time, we reduce our bridges to an appropriate thickness, instead of leaving them overly thick.

 

 

The tapered structure creates increased support.

The tapered structure creates increased support.

The strings are in their happy places. Does your bow inadvertently hit the other strings when you want to play only on one string? This can be a sign that the curve of the top of the bridge may be too flat. Conversely, if this shape is too round, playing double stops will be much harder than it needs to be. Also, if the strings are either too high or too low in respect to the playing surface of the fingerboard, this could indicate that the bridge may need adjustment. (it may also mean that your neck angle is incorrect.)

It’s pretty. A bridge is a luthier’s signature and chance to showcase their fancy knife skills. When we carve out the internal shapes on each bridge we’re not only removing the unnecessary material that would otherwise dampen the vibrations of the bridge, we are also creating tiny works of art, akin to the manner in which a high-end chef takes great care in the presentation of food on a plate. The shapes should be crisply cut to appear fluid and beautiful. When you see this level of work, you know that other less visible steps have been executed with the same level of fastidiousness.

BridgeArt

If your bridge does not measure up with regards to the above criteria, or if you have any concerns whatsoever about this crucial part of your instrument, it may be time to bring it in for examination and possible replacement.

Sound of violin reveals “different world” to Brooklyn teen

Seeing the Light

Seeing the LightLooking for a little holiday spirit? Check out the Atlanta Philharmonic this Saturday, December 6th! Concert begins at 7:30 at North Decatur Presbyterian Church and featured soloists are Michael Heald and Betul Soykan.

Lessons In Your Home

LessonNeed to enrol your child in private lessons, but can’t be in multiple places at once? Check out Metro Music Makers! Allison Boyd, founder, has created an affordable solution for so many busy parents in the metro area. Click here for more information.

Contact Us

How the string vibrates on a violin in slow motion

Check out this awesome slow-motion video of a violin G-string.  Notice how the energy travels in a circular motion once it gets going.  Wow!

 

 

 

 

Copenhagen Philharmonic Flash Mob

Copenhagen Philharmonic, also known as the Tivoli Symphony Orchestra, performs Griegs Peer Gynt as a treat for Copenhagen Metro passengers.

Shark Week: Vitamin String Quartet

It’s a bad week to be a seal! In honor of Discovery Channel’s Shark Week, enjoy Vitamin String Quartet’s tribute to the Jaws main title and first victim.

Philippe Quint performing Corigliano’s Red Violin Caprice

Refining his musical talent at a young age, Russian musician Philippe Quint performed for the first time at the age of nine.  His love for his instrument and his craft are evident when he takes the stage with his charisma and Stradivarius.

Enjoy this captivating performance of Philippe Quint playing Corigliano’s Red Violin Caprice.

Back To School Checklist – Are You Ready For Class?

With the rise of the new school year, children are excited to get new pencils and notebooks while parents are scrambling to be sure they have everything on their back-to-school shopping list.  From paper and folders to hole punch reinforcements and correction fluid, parents and students alike don’t want to forget anything, but are you ready for orchestra class?

Here’s a checklist of things to focus on when getting back into the rhythm of your school year schedule.

  1. Check your instrument: This might seem obvious, but give your instrument a thorough examination.  Check the bridge and the strings for warping or unravelling and look for any cracks or unglued seems.  Younger players may need to step-up in size.  Instruments should be examined by a luthier every six months to look for unseen damage and complete routine maintenance.  Small issues can become costly if unattended.
  2. Check your accessories: Look over your case for any damage and see that your rosin is not dry and cracking. It’s also good to have an extra set of strings for those unforeseen accidents.  Lastly, check that your bow doesn’t need rehairing.
  3. Check with your teacher: Your teacher might have a required method book that you need before class starts or items like a mute for fun pieces they have in mind.  Ask!

So while you’re running around looking for the latest “cool” lunchbox or the best pens, don’t forget about your favorite elective class or your beloved instrument’s needs.

How It’s Made: Violins

How do luthiers go about making violins and other string instruments? While the process is much more complex than a five minute video, check out a brief overview of what goes into making this intricate instrument.

Lindsey Stirling: Modern American Violinist

stirling3
Lindsey Stirling has been playing violin for twenty years, but in her own unique style. While many thought the world had “no use for a dancing dubstep violin player,” Stirling went and proved them wrong by developing a world wide online fan base from Legend Of Zelda remixes to Phantom Of The Opera mash-ups.

Her most recent composition, “Crystallize”, received over 62 million views on YouTube, thanks to her online fans.

Most recently she’s been composing her own album, complete with a cover infused with her style.

Here is Stirling’s newest composition, “Crystallize.”

Read more about her here.