Here at The Music Place, we love to champion the underrepresented instruments, and we feel that one instrument doesn’t get enough hype for how cool and important it is! So, this week, we’re dedicating our blog to the marvelous, magical world of the cello! So, a few fun (or at least true) facts:

  1. The word cello originally meant “little large viola” coming from the Italian, Violoncello
  2. The cello is the second largest instrument in the string family 
  3. The cello’s range means that it is the instrument which sounds closest to the human voice; it encompasses four different registers- bass, tenor, alto and soprano 
  4. Cello strings were originally made from ‘catgut’ which was made from the dried up innards of… yes you’ve guessed it… sheep and goats. Oh.  
  5. In 2008, the Duport Stradivarius cello was bought by the Nippon Music Foundation for $20 million, perhaps the most money ever paid for an instrument ever! Cheaper cellos are available. 
  6. The cello is tuned in fifths
  7. The cello dates back to the 1500s!
  8. The plural of cello can either be ‘cellos’ or ‘celli’ 
  9. The end-pin which a cello rests on is only a relatively recent invention. Prior to the end-pin, cellists had to hold up and play their instrument using the strength of their legs!
  10. The longest marathon cello playing is 26 hours, and was achieved by Carel Henn (South Africa) in Bonnyville, Alberta, Canada, from 19 to 20 December 2014.

So, now that we’ve gotten to know the cello a little more, we thought we’d share with you our very own cello teacher, Natalie, showing us how gorgeous the cello can sound with Bach’s Prelude from the Suite in C major.

Have a lovely week everyone.