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Violone, five strings , with F-holes . Modern replica of a historical instrument

As Violone historical are strings both the family of violas da gamba and the family of the da braccio violas in the bass register referred.

In the violin form, the violone also comes with the violin-typical F-holes , and this type can be viewed as a bridge instrument from the viol family to the double bass . It was played in different tunings with and without frets . In contrast to the viols, the violone was rarely held by the legs, but was often placed on the floor or a stool . When holding a bow , there is an upper and lower grip, the latter dominating.

Eight-foot instruments (which sound like notated ) and sixteen- foot instruments (which sound an octave lower) were grouped under the name “violone” . Today it is difficult to decide in each individual case which instrument was available to the composer.

The player of a violon is called a “violonist”, which should not be confused with violinist (in French the violin is called violon and a violinist is therefore called violonist ).

Violone with Johann Sebastian Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach always referred to his deepest string instrument as the violone and only rarely paused it in fully occupied works (e.g. in cantatas ). According to the current state of research, a local tradition may still have existed in Weimar according to which the violone was an eight-foot instrument. In Köthen and Leipzig scores , Bach always leads the instrument down to D, sometimes also down to C. These are possibly two different sixteen-foot instruments, which Bach usually calls violone grosso or similar. All three instruments appear in the Brandenburg Concerts .

See also


  • Johannes Loescher:  Violone. In: Ludwig Finscher (Hrsg.): The music in past and present . Second edition, factual part, Volume 9 (Sydney - Cyprus). Bärenreiter / Metzler, Kassel et al. 1998, ISBN 3-7618-1128-4  ( online edition , subscription required for full access)
  • Alfred Planyavsky : The Baroque Double Bass Violone. 2nd Edition. Schneider, Tutzing 1998, ISBN 3-7952-0903-X .
  • Manfred Hermann Schmid: The violone in Italian instrumental music of the 17th century. In: Friedemann Hellwig (Ed.) Studia organologica. Commemorative publication for John Henry van der Meer. Schneider, Tutzing 1987, ISBN 3-7952-0486-0 , pp. 407-436.
  • Stephen Bonta: From Violone to Violoncello: A Question of Strings? , Journal of the American Musical Instrument Society III, 1977.
  • Stephen Bonta: Terminology for the Bass Violin in Seventeenth-Century Italy , Journal of the American Musical Instrument Society IV, 1978.

Web links

Commons : Violone  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Violin  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: violon  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Alfred Dürr : The cantatas by Johann Sebastian Bach (= dtv . .. Bd 4080. Wiss row). Volume 1. Bärenreiter, Kassel a. a. 1971, ISBN 3-423-0-4080-7 ; 4th ed., Community. Orig.-Edition: Deutscher Taschenbuch-Verlag, Munich; Bärenreiter-Verlag, Kassel / Basel / London 1981, ISBN 3-7618-4080-2 (for Bärenreiter; up to 3rd edition separately as: German vol. 4080 and German vol. 4081).
  2. Laurence Dreyfus: Bach's Continuo group (= Studies in the history of music (Cambridge, Mass.). Vol. 3). Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass. 1987, ISBN 0-674-06030-X .
  3. Johann Gottfried Walther : Musical Lexicon or Musical Library […]. Leipzig (with Wolffgang Deer) 1732; Reprint, ed. by Richard Schaal. Bärenreiter, Kassel 1953, and study edition, ed. by Friederike Ramm. Bärenreiter, Kassel u. a. 2001, ISBN 3-7618-1509-3 (study edition in the new setting of the text and the notes).
  4. Ares Rolf: JS Bach, The sixth Brandenburg concert (= Dortmund Bach research. Vol. 4). Klangfarben-Musikverl., Dortmund 2002, ISBN 3-932676-09-2 (Zugl .: Dortmund, Univ., Diss., 2001).