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Cello Music - Graded Levels

Cello Music

A collection or catalog of cello music, instructional method books and books about cello. The 1st chart shows the levels, and below that you'll find a technique chart. Coming soon, a repertoire chart organized by levels.

These levels are subject to the interpretation of the individual teacher & are only intended as a guide or starting point. You may note that some books span multiple suggested levels.
BEGINNERS 1 Open strings, harmonics, first position with simple rhythms such as quarters, halfs & whole notes and some introduction of eighths. Short scales & exercises, introductory bow hold & position, string crossing, listening, pitch identification.
2 First position continued. arpeggios and arpeggiated chords, tone production thru the use of good bow grip, positioning & physical posture. Learning dynamics, bowing patterns, legato & staccato articulations, sight reading, faster bow strokes. Introducing major keys especially up to 3 sharps and some lower string playing. Slurs both on single strings & crossing oer strings
3 More bowings and fingerings in first position--extended fingerings, detached slurs, slurs, rapid string crossings, non-harmonic tones, dotted rhythms
4 Introduction of shifting positions, brush strokes, sound production development
INTERMEDIATE 5 Shifting to various positions. Introducing vibrato. Dotted rhythms, basics of phrasing & introduction of ornaments & trills
6 Half positions, sustained versus staccato bowing, minor scales, tenor clef, fifth to seventh positions, shifting to high B, C, C#. Introducing double stops and chords
7 Longer musical pieces. Comprehensive shifting of positions, harmonics and varied use of vibrato-- tenor clef, double stops, chords. Concert styles of playing, introducing various styles & complicated string crossings
8 Works with extensive shifting in neck and transitional positions and occasional higher scalar runs or harmonic based thumb position--simple thumb position anchored at the harmonic or in simple scalar motion

Longer, more advanced or challenging musical works such as sonatas, concerti, and other stylistic pieces that require similar depth of knowledge & techniques. Advanced shifting & introduction of more thumb position position work. Treble clef, thumb position pattern etudes, develop strength and endurance, refine bowing articulations. (Levels 9 & 10 cover the range of levels IX...XIII used by the Internet Cello Society)

10 Works utilize the entire range with thumb position passages falling into idiomatic scalar or arpeggiated patterns--thumb position in all higher positions, thirds, octaves, sixths.
Pieces require fluent playing over the entire range of the instrument with extensive useage of thumb position.
Thumb position security, spiccato development. Fast, even fingering, artificial harmonics, fast virtuostic passages, more complex shifting & thumb position double stopping.
Virtuosic works that necessitate not only complete technical command but more mature interpretation and sense of artistry--different tonal languages, complex and compound rhythms, contemporary styles, endurance testing...
Musically & technically challenging music as played by concert artists



some methods have multiple publishers second publisher
level 1 to 2
Don't Fail Your Scales!
Dotzauer - Exercises for Violoncello – Book 1 Schirmer
Herfurth - A Tune a Day volume 1 - Boston Music Company
Herfurth - A Tune a Day volume 2 - Boston Music Company
Kummer Selected Pupil-Teacher Cello Duets
Matesky-Womack - Learn to Play a String Instrument vol. 1 - Alfred
Matesky-Womack - Learn to Play a String Instrument vol. 2 - Alfred
Elementary Scales and Bowings – Cello (First Position) -Whistler-Hummel
levels 3 to 4
Intermediate Scales & Bowings - Whistler-Hummel
Violoncello Technique Author: Mark Yampolsky
Lee - Forty Easy Exercises, Op. 70 - Leeds
levels 5 to 6
Duport - 21 Etudes, vol. 1 & 2 - Schirmer/Peters
Romberg: Sonata for Cello and Piano in E Minor, Op. 38 No. 1
Dotzauer - 113 Exercises, Book 1 and 2 - Peters/Fischer 113 Studies – Volume 2 - Editio Musica Budapest
Lee - Forty Melodious & Progressive Etudes, Op.31, Book 1 - Schirmer
Piatti - 12 Capricci, Opus 12
levels 7 to 8
Cossman - Studies for Development of Agility of Fingers - International
David Popper: High School of Cello Playing, Op. 73
level 9
Feuillard - Daily Exercises - Schott
Franchomme - Studies, Op. 35 - Peters/International
Piatti - 12 Caprices, Op. 25 - Ricordi
Popper - High School of Cello Playing, Op. 73 - International/Kalmus
level 10
Dotzauer - 113 Exercises, Book 3: 81,82,83... - International
Violoncello Technique Author: Mark Yampolsky



level 1
Gabrielli 7 Ricercari Cello Solo
 (nos. 1 & 2)
level 2
Gabrielli 7 Ricercari Cello Solo (nos. 1 & 2)
level 3
Gabrielli 7 Ricercari Cello Solo
 (nos. 1 & 2)
First 50 Songs You Should Play on Cello A Must-Have Collection of Well-Known Songs, Including Many Cello Features
level 4

101 Classical Themes for Cello

Jean Baptiste Bréval Sonata in C Major, Op. 42 Cello and Piano
Gabrielli 7 Ricercari Cello Solo (nos. 1 & 2)
level 5
Bach 6 Suites for Unaccompanied Cello (Suite No. 1, Suite No. 3, Bouree I and II & Suite No. 1, Menuetto I and II)
Six Sonatas for cello and piano by Benedetto Marcello pub Schirmer
level 6
Bach 6 Suites for Unaccompanied Cello (Suite No. 2)
Six Sonatas for cello and piano by Benedetto Marcello pub Schirmer
Gabrielli 7 Ricercari Cello Solo (nos. 6-7)
level 7 (coming soon)
level 8 (coming soon)
level 9 (coming soon)
level 10 (coming soon)
Bach 6 Suites for Unaccompanied Cello (Suite No.6)
Ginastera Puneña No. 2, Op. 45 Hommage à Paul Sacher
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