Saturday September 19, 2020
Silvio Dalla Torre
The Bassetto in History - The Bassetto in Baroque Music - The Bassetto in Folk Music - Cellone and Sous-Basse My Bassetto Bassetto Practice

The Bassetto in Baroque Music

"Sunday Concert" Anonymus
The name Bassetto was first mentioned in 1626, by Biagio Marini. The instrument was in com-
mon use in Bologna between 1674 and about 1700. The composers Giovanni Battista Mazzaferrata and Sebastiano Chierico
wrote many pieces which called for its use, as
did A. Grossi, G. Colombi, S. Filippini and others. The bassetto was used for concertante bass parts in church sonatas, motets and psalms, and occasionally also in chamber sonatas. The compass was from D to e’. Although the name "bassetto" disappeared with the popularisation of the new term "violoncello", it cannot be assumed that this was one and the same instrument, as is demonstrated by an entry in the Florentine "Vocabulario degli Accademici della Crusca" from 1729: "Bassetto: strumento di quattro corde, che si suona come il contrabbasso" (Bassetto: instrument with four strings that sounds like the double bass). The bassetto must in any case have been popular enough that Antonio Stradivari planned, or possibly even carried out, the construction of one: Stradivarius´s design drawings for the sound holes of a bassetto are preserved in the "Della Valle collection".

Füssen "Halbbass"
middle 17th century
Füssen "Halbbass", back
"Sunday Concert" Anonymus