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638969 Posts in 25537 Topics by 3626 Members - Latest Member: Julia October 19, 2018, 07:26:26 PM
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Author Topic: Guitar Sound on "Little Bird"  (Read 1157 times)
c-man
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« on: July 16, 2018, 03:23:49 PM »

Hey, wondering what guitar players here think might produce the somewhat unique guitar sound on "Little Bird" - could it be the mic'ing, the tuning, or the guitar itself? It sounds almost cello-like in its quality. Kinda like it's being played arco-sytle (with a bow).
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Stephen W. Desper
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« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2018, 08:13:29 PM »

Hey, wondering what guitar players here think might produce the somewhat unique guitar sound on "Little Bird" - could it be the mic'ing, the tuning, or the guitar itself? It sounds almost cello-like in its quality. Kinda like it's being played arco-sytle (with a bow).

COMMENT to c-man:
It's a 17th century cello played by Igor Horoshevsky. Igor played on several Beach Boy productions and traveled with them on a European tour.
~swd
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c-man
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« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2018, 08:19:14 PM »

Hmm...I was just reading today about the "baroque violin" - violins from the 17th century were set up differently than modern day violins, to the point where a "baroque violin" is considered an instrument unto itself...I wonder if the same is true of 17th century cellos?
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Stephen W. Desper
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« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2018, 04:45:15 AM »

Hmm...I was just reading today about the "baroque violin" - violins from the 17th century were set up differently than modern day violins, to the point where a "baroque violin" is considered an instrument unto itself...I wonder if the same is true of 17th century cellos?
COMMENT to c-man:  Musical instruments have changed through the years or rather centuries. Look at woodwinds and horns.
Igor's cello was quite valuable. Just the bow was valued at over $4,000. When he traveled with us his cello had to have its own airplane seat and was strapped in like a person.
Igor was 1st cellist of the Glendale Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Carmon Dragon. The Orchestra was quite popular in its day and Mistro Dragon's arrangements were much in demand. The orchestra was part of the Baby Snooks show, a radio show long before TV. One of his son's was Daryl Dragon who, when the Boys needed some string accompaniment, ask Igor, from his father's orchestra to record. Igor was a Russian immigrant and quite a character. Being classically trained he knew nothing about Rock music, but the Beach Boys took him under their wing to form a lasting friendship and recording/touring relationship. They encouraged him to do studio recording, which he knew nothing about. They got him some gigs and soon he was in demand, playing on commercials, and movie sound tracks. They opened a whole world of professional cello playing to him where he made lots of money and enjoyed every moment. Straight-laced Igor and flamboyant rock drummer, Dennis became the odd couple when we toured and pal-ed around a lot -- Igor always taking movies with his 8mm camera. When Igor died, Mary, his wife, and I tried to locate the many reels of The Beach Boys in Europe, but in vain. Now they are lost to antiquity. But Igor lives on in song -- such as Little Bird.
 
~swd
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aeijtzsche
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« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2018, 11:33:54 AM »

Hmm...I was just reading today about the "baroque violin" - violins from the 17th century were set up differently than modern day violins, to the point where a "baroque violin" is considered an instrument unto itself...I wonder if the same is true of 17th century cellos?

It is--but many of the finest extant instruments from the "early music" eras have been altered to suit the needs of the modern performer.  Most existing Stradavarii and the instruments by similarly sought-after makers have been disassembled and put back together to accommodate modern strings and more vigorous playing.  Horoshevsky's cello would similarly been dismantled and adapted for modern use.  Interestingly, Celli were just starting to become commonplace in the 17th century, replacing earlier bass instruments from the related viol family.  Some have argued that the cello started life as an instrument played "da spalla", ie, on the shoulder, like a violin, and that it was that instrument that Bach wrote his cello suites for.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2018, 11:35:13 AM by aeijtzsche » Logged
JK
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« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2018, 01:05:54 PM »

What a fascinating topic. Thanks folks!
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Stephen W. Desper
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« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2018, 06:54:37 PM »

Hmm...I was just reading today about the "baroque violin" - violins from the 17th century were set up differently than modern day violins, to the point where a "baroque violin" is considered an instrument unto itself...I wonder if the same is true of 17th century cellos?

It is--but many of the finest extant instruments from the "early music" eras have been altered to suit the needs of the modern performer.  Most existing Stradavarii and the instruments by similarly sought-after makers have been disassembled and put back together to accommodate modern strings and more vigorous playing.  Horoshevsky's cello would similarly been dismantled and adapted for modern use.  Interestingly, Celli were just starting to become commonplace in the 17th century, replacing earlier bass instruments from the related viol family.  Some have argued that the cello started life as an instrument played "da spalla", ie, on the shoulder, like a violin, and that it was that instrument that Bach wrote his cello suites for.

COMMENT:  Question for aeijtzsche. Would the older cello be more like a viola size? I can't imagine anything larger used da spalla. And by the way, I misspoke about Igor's cello. It was made in the 1700s, which would make it an 18th century instrument. Still had a beautiful bloom. ~swd
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guitarfool2002
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« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2018, 09:30:41 PM »

For anyone interested, and my interest was stoked by a music history professor who had the unenviable task of lecturing for two hours at a 9am lecture class when half the class would either be absent or asleep (and he was *excellent* which is why I am recalling all this 25 years later)...check out the various attempts through the years to create a "period correct" orchestra to perform various works as they would be performed and heard in the era of the composers who created them.

The time before trumpets had valves, when materials used on familiar instruments was not as we know it, when sizes and scales of instruments could vary based on the region in which the orchestra was based, and in some cases the temperament or tuning standards in general, which also could vary by region and definitely by era.

So you'd have a very familiar piece as of modern times that might not sound the same if we traveled back in time to the period when it was "new" and when the orchestras in that composer's region may have had differences from an orchestra 500 miles away.

It's fascinating to hear, and with the power of YouTube and the internet it's as easy as searching for these types of orchestras and recorded examples.

But to my younger and developing musical mind, hearing that professor describe how different an orchestra playing a familiar piece may have sounded vastly different in their original era versus hearing the Philly Orchestra or whoever playing it in modern times, it was really something to think about.
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"Every single person who criticized Brian for having She & Him, Kacey Musgraves, Sebu and Nate Ruess guesting on his solo album can now officially go heartily f*** themselves." - Wirestone
aeijtzsche
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« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2018, 05:44:40 AM »

Hmm...I was just reading today about the "baroque violin" - violins from the 17th century were set up differently than modern day violins, to the point where a "baroque violin" is considered an instrument unto itself...I wonder if the same is true of 17th century cellos?

It is--but many of the finest extant instruments from the "early music" eras have been altered to suit the needs of the modern performer.  Most existing Stradavarii and the instruments by similarly sought-after makers have been disassembled and put back together to accommodate modern strings and more vigorous playing.  Horoshevsky's cello would similarly been dismantled and adapted for modern use.  Interestingly, Celli were just starting to become commonplace in the 17th century, replacing earlier bass instruments from the related viol family.  Some have argued that the cello started life as an instrument played "da spalla", ie, on the shoulder, like a violin, and that it was that instrument that Bach wrote his cello suites for.

COMMENT:  Question for aeijtzsche. Would the older cello be more like a viola size? I can't imagine anything larger used da spalla. And by the way, I misspoke about Igor's cello. It was made in the 1700s, which would make it an 18th century instrument. Still had a beautiful bloom. ~swd







Also, watch this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XD4kNY34AoE

And here's a Brandenburg played with Celli da Spalla:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEbkxYfk0Go
« Last Edit: July 20, 2018, 05:47:03 AM by aeijtzsche » Logged
guitarfool2002
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« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2018, 12:15:33 PM »

Hmm...I was just reading today about the "baroque violin" - violins from the 17th century were set up differently than modern day violins, to the point where a "baroque violin" is considered an instrument unto itself...I wonder if the same is true of 17th century cellos?

It is--but many of the finest extant instruments from the "early music" eras have been altered to suit the needs of the modern performer.  Most existing Stradavarii and the instruments by similarly sought-after makers have been disassembled and put back together to accommodate modern strings and more vigorous playing.  Horoshevsky's cello would similarly been dismantled and adapted for modern use.  Interestingly, Celli were just starting to become commonplace in the 17th century, replacing earlier bass instruments from the related viol family.  Some have argued that the cello started life as an instrument played "da spalla", ie, on the shoulder, like a violin, and that it was that instrument that Bach wrote his cello suites for.

COMMENT:  Question for aeijtzsche. Would the older cello be more like a viola size? I can't imagine anything larger used da spalla. And by the way, I misspoke about Igor's cello. It was made in the 1700s, which would make it an 18th century instrument. Still had a beautiful bloom. ~swd







Also, watch this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XD4kNY34AoE

And here's a Brandenburg played with Celli da Spalla:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEbkxYfk0Go

Surprised that no one in the world of overly theatrical prog-rock and metal has tried to mount a pickup on that instrument and plug it into a massive rack and a Marshall stack just for the visual impact alone.  LOL

Or surprised that Nigel Tufnel didn't strap one of those on at some point...
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ďSome people think you have to knock somebody down in order to build yourself up, I donít look at it that way. To the mentality that likes to disparage other people, I say perhaps you should get a life. Itís just wrong thinking in my opinion and I donít mind saying that.Ē - Mike Love

"Every single person who criticized Brian for having She & Him, Kacey Musgraves, Sebu and Nate Ruess guesting on his solo album can now officially go heartily f*** themselves." - Wirestone
Stephen W. Desper
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« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2018, 07:36:40 AM »

COMMENT to aeijtzsche:

Thanks for answering my question with good examples.  I see the strap and watched the videos. The instrument looks like a small cello or a large viola. It's a hand full. Sounds like it's hard to be expressive with such a mass of wood to contend with.

Then there is no connection of the instrument's resonance with the floor, through the "floor pin" (don't know proper name).  I can see why, over time, the cello developed into a larger instrument held between the knees, rather than with a shoulder strap. Then I'm thinking, what if you needed five of these small cellos. They would take up twice the room as the floor-mounted model.

It's all quite interesting.
~swd

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MyDrKnowsItKeepsMeCalm
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« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2018, 09:02:00 AM »

Hmm...I was just reading today about the "baroque violin" - violins from the 17th century were set up differently than modern day violins, to the point where a "baroque violin" is considered an instrument unto itself...I wonder if the same is true of 17th century cellos?
COMMENT to c-man:  Musical instruments have changed through the years or rather centuries. Look at woodwinds and horns.
Igor's cello was quite valuable. Just the bow was valued at over $4,000. When he traveled with us his cello had to have its own airplane seat and was strapped in like a person.
Igor was 1st cellist of the Glendale Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Carmon Dragon. The Orchestra was quite popular in its day and Mistro Dragon's arrangements were much in demand. The orchestra was part of the Baby Snooks show, a radio show long before TV. One of his son's was Daryl Dragon who, when the Boys needed some string accompaniment, ask Igor, from his father's orchestra to record. Igor was a Russian immigrant and quite a character. Being classically trained he knew nothing about Rock music, but the Beach Boys took him under their wing to form a lasting friendship and recording/touring relationship. They encouraged him to do studio recording, which he knew nothing about. They got him some gigs and soon he was in demand, playing on commercials, and movie sound tracks. They opened a whole world of professional cello playing to him where he made lots of money and enjoyed every moment. Straight-laced Igor and flamboyant rock drummer, Dennis became the odd couple when we toured and pal-ed around a lot -- Igor always taking movies with his 8mm camera. When Igor died, Mary, his wife, and I tried to locate the many reels of The Beach Boys in Europe, but in vain. Now they are lost to antiquity. But Igor lives on in song -- such as Little Bird.
 
~swd
Really cool! Thanks for sharing; I never knew it was a non-Beach Boy making that unique sound on the recording.
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