Journal of
Music and Dance

  • Abbreviation: J. Music Dance
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2360-8579
  • DOI: 10.5897/JMD
  • Start Year: 2011
  • Published Articles: 22

Full Length Research Paper

The cello: An amazing musical instrument

Vincent Liu
  Improvisational Music Club, 1401 Artesia Blvd, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266 310-990-1511, USA. 
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 13 December 2010
  •  Published: 31 January 2011



The cello is truly a spectacular instrument to have survived for hundreds of years and to be steadily gaining popularity in the 21st century. There is a long history of the instrument and its accompanying components-the bow, rosin, parts of the cello-as well as of its players. With the cello’s rich, deep, powerful sounds, it is no wonder that the instrument has been so successful and continues to be one of the world’s most elegant and respected musical instruments today. This paper presents a systematic review of the cello’s history, starting from the inventor of the cello, Andrea Amati of Italy, in the early sixteenth century, to the cello’s evolution over the half century, and to its status in modern society. Famous players are presented, including Francesco Alborea (1691-1739), who was the first known cellist to use thumb position; Luigi Boccherini (1743-1805) who was the only outstanding cellist who was also a distinguished composer; and the contemporary cellist Yo-Yo Ma, whose talent and innovation have drawn unprecedented attention to the cello, while enriching music in various ways and uniting people and cultures throughout the world with the beauty of music. In addition, this paper describes interviews with a number of modern cellists about their perceptions as professional cellists.


Key words: Cello, cellist, history, music, instrument.