The History of the Cello



The cello is a favourite instrument of mine. I love the deeper sound it makes compared to the violin. Whilst the Cello is normally seen in the string section of an orchestra, there have been some amazing solo pieces written for the cello. Probably two of the best known pieces are Bach’s Cello Suite No 1, part of six suites for the cello written by Bach in 1720

Dvorak’s Cello Concerto in B Minor


When was the Cello invented?


Almost everyone is familiar with the Violin, but just when and how did the Cello develop?

Various versions of the Violin can be dated back to as early as the tenth century, although a four string version (the earliest equivalent to our modern day violin) was constructed in the 16th Century in Italy. It became popular not only because of its sound, but it was light and easy to carry around by travelling musicians.

The violoncello as it was originally known, followed on in a natural progression to obtaining lower notes than the violin could play. There were various versions of the cello, but the four stringed instrument we know today, had replaced the other pretenders by the beginning of the 18th Century.

The cello (its name was shortened) was tuned in fifths A3, D3, G2 and C2. Because of its size it is played from the floor and has an endpin to support it. This is the same as the Double Bass its larger cousin.

Interestingly, I have read that according to research journals, the sound from a cello has been compared to the human voice.

The cello is a critical instrument in the string section of an Orchestra and when not performing solo pieces, provides the harmony for the rest of the strings.

I think the sound is very mellow and quite sad, but a talented cellist can make some beautiful music on a cello

Whilst the cello is typically a classical instrument, they have been used as backing instruments to quite a few rock and pop songs and brought into the 21st Century by bands such as Apocolyptica a swedish group of three cellists.


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