About the Cello
The violoncello, usually abbreviated to cello, is a bowed string instrument. A person who plays a cello is called a cellist. The cello is used as a solo instrument in chamber music and as a member of the string section of an orchestra.
The cello is typically made from wood, although other materials such as carbon fiber or aluminum may be used. A traditional cello has a spruce top, with maple for the back, sides, and neck.
The cello is most closely associated with European classical music and has been described as the closest sounding instrument to the human voice. The instrument is a part of the standard orchestra and is the bass voice of the string quartet, as well as being part of many other chamber groups. A large number of concertos and sonatas have been written for the cello. The instrument is less common in popular music, but is sometimes featured in pop and rock recordings. The cello has also recently appeared in major hip-hop and R & B performances, such as singers Rihanna and Ne-Yo's performance at the American Music Awards. The instrument has also been modified for Indian classical music by Nancy Lesh and Saskia Rao-de Haas.
The cello developed from the bass violin, first referred to by Jambe de Fer in 1556, which was originally a three-string instrument. The first instance of a composer specifying the bass violin may have been Gabrieli in Sacrae symphoniae, 1597.
Among the most famous Baroque works for the cello are J. S. Bach's six unaccompanied Suites. From the Classical era, the two concertos by Joseph Haydn in C major and D major stand out, as do the five sonatas for cello and pianoforte of Beethoven which span the important three periods of his compositional evolution. Romantic era repertoire includes the Schumann Concerto in A minor, the Concerto by Antonin Dvorak, and the two sonatas by Brahms. Compositions from the early 20th century include Elgar's Cello Concerto in E minor, unaccompanied cello sonatas by Zoltan Kodaly (Op.8), Paul Hindemith (Op.25) and W.H. Squire . The cello's versatility made it popular with composers in the mid- to late twentieth century, encouraged by soloists who specialized in contemporary music (such as Siegfried Palm and Mstislav Rostropovich) commissioning from and collaborating with composers.
The position of the left hand fingers along the strings determine the pitch of the note. The closer to the bridge that the string is depressed, the higher in pitch will be the resulting sound, because the vibrating string length has been shortened. In the neck positions (which use just less than half of the fingerboard, nearest the top of the instrument), the thumb rests on the back of the neck; in thumb position (a general name for notes on the remainder of the fingerboard) the thumb usually rests alongside the fingers on the string and the side of the thumb is used to play notes. The fingers are normally held curved with each knuckle bent, with the fingertips in contact with the string. If a finger is required on two (or more) strings at once to play perfect fifths (in double stops or chords) it is used flat. In slower, or more expressive playing, the contact point can move slightly away from the nail to the pad of the finger, allowing a fuller vibrato.
In cello playing, the bow is much like the breath of a wind instrument player. Arguably, it is the major determinant in the expressiveness of the playing. The right hand holds the bow and controls the duration and character of the notes. The bow is drawn across the strings roughly halfway between the end of the fingerboard and the bridge, in a direction perpendicular to the strings. The bow is held with all five fingers of the right hand, the thumb opposite the fingers and closer to the cellist's body. The shape of the hand should resemble that of its relaxed state, with all fingers curved, including the thumb. The transmission of weight from the arm to the bow happens through the pronation (inward rotation) of the forearm, which pushes the index finger and to a lesser degree the middle finger onto the bow. The necessary counterforce is provided by the thumb. The little finger helps to control the angle of the bow to the string and is critical to control of the bow when it is off the string."Cello." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 20 Apr 2008, 05:35 UTC. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 26 Apr 2008 <http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Cello&oldid=206833941>.
To learn more about Cello Lessons in your area, select your State and Area:
To learn more about Cello Teachers in your area, select your State and Area: