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The cello is a 4-stringed wooden instrument that is utilized in the orchestra as a supporting harmony and bass line. It is 2nd lowest sounding in the strings, just above the Double Bass. It sounds one octave lower than the Viola and is strung the same. It is also the bass of the string quartet as well as a solo instrument.


The cello came to life and referenced in the mid 1500’s. The bowed stringed instruments were around for many years before the “cello” came about. It is part of the “braccio” family, which means played on the arm rather than the “gamba” family, which means that it is played between the legs. Ironically, it is played while seated and between the legs. It wasn’t until the 1700’s that music was specifically written for the cello, before this, it wasn’t a loud instrument and was not used as much or it needed to be doubled by the bass.


There are many different sizes of cello to accommodate different size beginners. 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, and full size (4/4) are the most common found. Beginners may choose the correct size and progress to full size with no problems learning each size. The technique is still the same and the scale just becomes larger with the larger instruments.


Franz Hoffman, Carlo Lamberti, Bianca, Joseph Schneider, Mathias Thoma, and Cremona are several brands that are reputable. There are many brands out there, making sure that you find a cello that is affordable may have adverse effects on the ability to play. Be sure to consult with a professional or at the music store to help decide which is best, not only brands but size as well.


Carter Brey, Christopher Bunting, Pablo Casals, Yo-Yo Ma, Emanuel Feuermann, Gregor Piatigorski, Paul Tortelier, Jacqueline du Pré, Mstislav Rostropovich, Julian Lloyd Webber, Mischa Maisky, Tim Hugh, Robert Cohen, Moray Welsh and Truls Mørk are several cellists that have extensive literature that can be found. Cello is found in lots of pop music like the Beatles and Jamiroquai as well!


Cello beginnings are the ultimate way to continue to play cello, with the ability to play in an orchestra, a string quartet. There are many uses in modern music for the cello. Pop bands, cello formed rock bands, jazz, as well movie and live theater genres utilize the voice of the cello to great extent.

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