What Makes The Cello Unique from Other Instruments?


Ever since it grew popularity in Europe, the cello has been part of the cultural musical instrument in several parts of the globe. Its authentic human-like tone and diversity made it a popular instrument and an important component in an orchestra. 

One obvious thing that makes cello unique is its size as it is way bigger compared to other instruments in the string family such as violin and viola. In playing cello, you have to use your full body to support and play it, making it look like a hard instrument to learn and play. Over the years, the cello has explored different music genres aside from classical music. Believe it or not, you can play cello in music genres such as pop, jazz, and rock.  Thus, in 1971, cello rock was introduced.

Here are some of the reasons that make cello different from the rest of the instruments:


Compared to most instruments in the string family, the cello uses heavier bow with stiffer black hair for orchestra performances and lighter ones for solo performances.


Unlike some musical instruments who may find it hard to adapt with various music genres, the cello had been an important instrument in the popularity of some musicians such as:

  • Apocalyptica – It has been said that it is through this Finnish rock band that cello rock was introduced to the music industry. In their debut album released in 1996, the Apocalyptica made a unique approach in heavy metal by adding cello in the compositions.

  • Rasputina – This three-member group also made a contribution to the music area by adding cello in their goth-rock sound. Since the release of their album, Thanks for the Ether, Rasputina built a reputation of musicians able to coordinate Goth style, rock music, and the classical sound of cello in a refreshing and passionate sound. 

  • 12 Cellists of the Berlin Harmonic – This group of cellists from the Berlin Philharmonic incorporated cello in the genres of jazz and tango which made them popular for taking cello into a different light. 

  • As you might already know, the cello is also being incorporated into film soundtracks as well. Its human-like sound creates a distinct and compelling sound that goes well with almost all types of films.


As cello is able to go well with various genres of music, the instrument can also create harmonious blending with various musical instruments such as:


While the cello can overpower the violin because of its full sound, proper adjustment between the two instruments can create powerful combination and performance.


Even if cello sounds more powerful and intense, the viola was able to blend well with the instrument by providing a mellow sound in the prevailing tone of the cello.

Double Bass:

With this instrument, compliment happens when the bright sound of the cello combines perfectly with the dull, low and octaves voice of the double bass.


Cello, in pizzicato style, blends perfectly with smooth and full sound coming from harp instruments;


The cello also blends well with woodwind instruments. With oboe, it emphasizes the sound and vibrato of the cello, thus producing a well-defined and sharp composition


Since the cello has strong and intense sound, pairing it with a clarinet makes the produced sound smoother and richer.


The roundness of the sound of the cello can be toned down every time a bassoon comes into the picture. 


Played in piano, almost all audience can attest that the combination of cellos and horns are totally pleasing to the ears. The combination of woodwind instruments and the cello is just one of the many testimonies of how versatile cello can be as an instrument.

Want to try learning cello?

If you’re thinking of starting to learn a new musical instrument and you want to try against the norms of violins and guitars, the cello would be a good choice.

There are different sizes of cello depending on age range, of course, small sizes will be best for kids. In choosing your first cello, your best option would be a beginner cello, there are quality brands such as Cecilio, Fiddlerman and Ming Jiang Zhu.

For beginners, it’s best to do your research first in finding the best cello that will suit your needs. You can read reviews or ask cellists about some tips in choosing your first cello.

Indeed, the cello has come a long way. From the instrument played in Western countries, the cello has now become a well-patronized and most taught instrument in today’s generation.

From being limited in playing in orchestras, now you can also be in a rock band with a cello. There are  many things that make cello unique from other instruments, who knows in the near future, cellos might gain more popularity like the violin. 

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This