The cello is an instrument of haunting beauty. Although historically it is heard mostly as a member of classical instrumental ensembles, there are many solo concertos and solo works showing off the cello's huge range of expressive qualities.
The cello has become so popular that it features prominently not only in pop and rock music (esp. of the 1970s and 80s) but also more recently, in the music of major hip-hop and R & B performers, including Rihanna and Ne-Yo!
SOME SPECIAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THE CELLO
Due to its large size, the instrument features an endpin that rests on the floor to support its weight. In that regard, it is very different from the violin and viola and much more closely related to the double bass.
Resembling the viola, the cello has 4 strings tuned in intervals of perfect fifths. Each of the string is tuned an octave lower than the corresponding string on the viola. Cello music is written mostly in bass clef, though higher registers may use notation in tenor and treble clefs.
HOW IS THE CELLO PLAYED?
Cello strings are plucked or bowed (using the cello bow). The right hand holds the bow and draws it across the string(s). The left hand moves up and down the string(s) to adjust the desired pitch by varying the length of the vibrating portion of the string. Shorter lengths produce higher pitches, and vice versa. Once a sound is produced, it is amplified by the cello's hollow body.
The cello comes in a variety of sizes. A "full-size" or "4⁄4" is the standard cello size. But there are smaller sizes available, including 7⁄8, 3⁄4, 1⁄2, 1⁄4, 1⁄8, 1⁄10, and 1⁄16!