Quick guide to popular Cellos

The Cello

Cello music is uplifting to say the least. So many violinists wish that they had started with the Cello before going to violin. The high notes are so very cool and so soulful. The low notes are soothing beyond measure. The clarity and gentleness penetrates the weary soul. Yes the cello is powerful yet soft, strong yet gentle, penetrating and yet it helps you focus on your work, meditation or study. The cello plays mature music that speaks directly to the heart.

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Info About the Cello

The cello or violin cello, at 27.5 inches in length with the neck, is bigger than the viola that is bigger than the violin. It has proportionately deeper ribs and a shorter neck compared to the violin. The biggest of the strings is the bass. It is a stringed musical instrument that was developed in the 1700s. It comprises of 4 strings that are pitched upwards at C-G-D-A. The first cellos were frequently with 5 strings and served to reinforce the bass line ensembles. Then in the 18th century, the cello replaced the viola da gamba and became a solo star. This also gave rise to the String Quartet that was comprised of 2 violins, a viola and a cello. For a while, the string quartet became chamber music’s foremost performer.

The family of stringed instruments to where the cello belongs is called the “viols”.  It appeared at a time when there was much experimentation on strings. The cello was also known as violoncello or “little violone” and evolved then as a bass instrument in string groups and was used as an accompaniment in the basso continuo. When composers started noticing the cello, they started giving it small parts to play in concertos. This eventually led to the cello becoming a solo instrument.

The cello eventually became a standard instrument in the music of the great composers of the world: Haydn, Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Dvorak, Lalo, Elgar, Barber, Camille Saint Saens, Debussy and more.  Even popular musicians like the Beatles used the cello in some of their pieces. Not long after that, the cello found its way into the hearts of many well known musicians and became a permanent part of chamber music groups where up 6 to as many as 12 cellos play.


How to Play the Cello

The cello is very similar to the violin but bigger. It is played with the cellist sitting down and holding the instrument between his knees. The pin at the end of the body helps to hold it to the ground. The pin’s length can be adjusted to adjust the height of the cello for comfort. It is also played with a bow. The cello starts one octave below the middle E but its range is so wide, it can actually go much higher or near the bridge or nearer the floor. But unlike the violinist, the cellist can use his thumb to press down on the fingerboard. It is a bass instrument but it can go to the tenor clef when doing solo.


Purchasing a Cello

The cello is an expensive piece of instrument. The bow itself can cost several hundreds of dollars and I’m not even talking about a brand new cello. So a beginner may want to buy a used Cello.

Another option is to rent out a cello form some violin outlets and this could cost something like $50 per month.

For serious players, buying a cello is the only way to go. But there are cellos worth millions of dollars. The Antique ones like the Bonjour Stradivarius that was created in 1629. However, we can buy cellos from a violin store at a much more realistic price. Some buyers will however be surprised to find out that a brand new cello without the bow can cost from $1,000 to $20,000 depending on brand. A beginner does not have to buy a very expensive brand but will keep that as an option after he’s learned how to play it well.

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