is the component of a cello
The cello is a bowed string instrument with four strings tuned in perfect fifths. It is a member of the violin family of musical instruments, which also includes the violin, viola, and double bass. Old forms of the instrument in the Baroque era are baryton and viol .A person who plays a cello is...
or double bass
The double bass, also called the string bass, upright bass, standup bass or contrabass, is the largest and lowest-pitched bowed string instrument in the modern symphony orchestra, with strings usually tuned to E1, A1, D2 and G2...
that makes contact with the floor to support the instrument's weight. It is made of metal, or in some cases wood or carbon fiber, and is extensible from the bottom of the instrument, and secured with a thumbscrew. Most bass clarinet
The bass clarinet is a musical instrument of the clarinet family. Like the more common soprano B clarinet, it is usually pitched in B , but it plays notes an octave below the soprano B clarinet...
s and contrabassoon
The contrabassoon, also known as the double bassoon or double-bassoon, is a larger version of the bassoon, sounding an octave lower...
s also have a similar fixture.
Types of endpins
Endpins are usually tipped with a point to stick into the floor, which is sometimes capped with black rubber
Natural rubber, also called India rubber or caoutchouc, is an elastomer that was originally derived from latex, a milky colloid produced by some plants. The plants would be ‘tapped’, that is, an incision made into the bark of the tree and the sticky, milk colored latex sap collected and refined...
to preserve the floor's surface and provide friction
Friction is the force resisting the relative motion of solid surfaces, fluid layers, and/or material elements sliding against each other. There are several types of friction:...
. Generally, endpins are parallel to the long axis of the instrument, but some cellists fit their instruments with a Tortelier
Paul Tortelier was a French cellist and composer.Tortelier was born in Paris, the son of a cabinet maker with Breton roots. He was encouraged to play the cello by his father Joseph and mother Marguerite , and at 12 he entered the Paris Conservatoire. He studied the cello there with Gérard Hekking...
-style endpin, which angles more towards the floor, improving mobility at the expense of stability. Also, some endpins have a secondary extension for tall musicians. The endpin also may have notches cut in it, allowing it to have extra holding strength at these points.
Left-hand pressure on a cello fingerboard, acting against the fulcrum of the player's chest and/or knees, may cause the endpin to slip forward on the floor. To prevent this slippage, objects known as "endpin stoppers", "pinstops", "donuts", "endpin anchors", "endpin holders", "spike holders" or "rock stops" are sometimes used.
One type of endpin stopper is placed between the endpin and the floor to add surface area and enhance friction, and stands alone. With this sort, the base must be made out of a non slippery material like rubber. One very common type consists of a pliable disc surrounding a circular cup to hold the endpin's tip, such as the "Sure-Stop".
A different sort of endpin stopper uses the musician's chair as an anchor. T-shaped wooden stoppers are anchored by placing the top of the T behind the chair legs. Straight plank stoppers use one or two straps with loops at the end which are anchored around the chair legs. Since in this case the distance from the stopper to the chair is usually fixed, such stoppers typically have a line of dents running down the plank, allowing the instrument's angle to be adjusted by placing the endpin in a different dent.
Basses do not always require stoppers, being heavier and usually played in a more vertical orientation than a cello. However, bassists often use rockstops when sitting on a stool or when playing on high-glossed floors or uneven surfaces.
Endpins and flooring
Pointed endpins can cause extensive damage, especially to tile
A tile is a manufactured piece of hard-wearing material such as ceramic, stone, metal, or even glass. Tiles are generally used for covering roofs, floors, walls, showers, or other objects such as tabletops...
and wooden flooring. Many music rooms bear evidence of this in a myriad of small holes. Here, rubber tips and/or stoppers are beneficial. On carpet
A carpet is a textile floor covering consisting of an upper layer of "pile" attached to a backing. The pile is generally either made from wool or a manmade fibre such as polypropylene,nylon or polyester and usually consists of twisted tufts which are often heat-treated to maintain their...
, the damage is less extensive. The bare tip is thus most effective in outdoor conditions, carpeted areas, and old flooring where the damage will not be as serious. However, the sharper the endpin, the more likely it is to go through the standard rubber tip.