Violoncello, Dresden, Cello Pedagogy, Bernhard Romberg, Friedrich Dotzauer, David Popper, Cello Etudes, Kummer, Sebastian Lee, Bernhard Cossmann, Friedrich Grutzmacher, Karl Davidov, Julius Goltermann, Georg Goltermann, F.A. Kummer, Carl Fuchs


Until the nineteenth century, the violoncello was considered a background accompaniment instrument. By 1900 however, over eighty method books had been published for cello, and Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss were composing orchestral cello parts equal in difficulty to those of the violin, traditionally the only virtuosic string part. The emancipation from the ties of bass ostinato for the cello began with Bernhard Romberg in Dresden. The group of cellists, who came to be known as the Dresden School, included Kummer, Lee, Goltermann, Cossmann, Popper, Grutzmacher, Davidov, and other cellists that were students and colleagues of this group. The Dresden School of cellists attempted not only to bring the instrument into prominence, but to revolutionize the technique of the instrument completely. The cello pedagogues of the Dresden School achieved this by publishing their methods and advancements in technique in cello etude and method books. This efficient process of dissemination allowed for the members of the school to improve on each other's work over time. By the second half of the nineteenth century, the cello pedagogy of the Dresden School was established through the etudes published by the cellist-composers of the Dresden School, and these etudes are still considered some of the most advanced studies for cello, and are the foundation of modern cello pedagogy. At the turn of the twentieth century the Dresden School was the leading cello school in the world, and no longer tied only to the city of Dresden, but spread throughout Europe and beyond. In the publishing of their etudes, the Dresden cellists not only passed down their information to their students, but also to future generations of cellists. Descendants of the Dresden School cellists are now performing in almost every nation and teaching the ideas born in nineteenth century Germany.


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Graduation Date



Warfield, Scott


Master of Arts (M.A.)


College of Arts and Humanities



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Release Date

May 2009

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Masters Thesis (Open Access)

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