The violin, sometimes known as a fiddle, is a wooden string instrument in the violin family. Most violins have a hollow wooden body, it is highest-pitched instrument in the family in regular use. Smaller violin-type instruments exist, including the violino piccolo and the kit violin, but these are unused; the violin has four strings tuned in perfect fifths, is most played by drawing a bow across its strings, though it can be played by plucking the strings with the fingers and by striking the strings with the wooden side of the bow. Violins are important instruments in a wide variety of musical genres, they are most prominent in the Western classical tradition, both in ensembles and as solo instruments and in many varieties of folk music, including country music, bluegrass music and in jazz. Electric violins with solid bodies and piezoelectric pickups are used in some forms of rock music and jazz fusion, with the pickups plugged into instrument amplifiers and speakers to produce sound. Further, the violin has come to be played in many non-Western music cultures, including Indian music and Iranian music.
The name fiddle is used regardless of the type of music played on it. The violin was first known in 16th-century Italy, with some further modifications occurring in the 18th and 19th centuries to give the instrument a more powerful sound and projection. In Europe, it served as the basis for the development of other stringed instruments used in Western classical music, such as the viola. Violinists and collectors prize the fine historical instruments made by the Stradivari, Guarneri and Amati families from the 16th to the 18th century in Brescia and Cremona and by Jacob Stainer in Austria. According to their reputation, the quality of their sound has defied attempts to explain or equal it, though this belief is disputed. Great numbers of instruments have come from the hands of less famous makers, as well as still greater numbers of mass-produced commercial "trade violins" coming from cottage industries in places such as Saxony and Mirecourt. Many of these trade instruments were sold by Sears, Roebuck and Co. and other mass merchandisers.
The parts of a violin are made from different types of wood. Violins can be strung with Perlon or other synthetic, or steel strings. A person who makes or repairs violins is called a violinmaker. One who makes or repairs bows is called an bowmaker; the word "violin" was first used in English in the 1570s. The word "violin" comes from "Italian violino, diminutive of viola"; the term "viola" comes from the expression for "tenor violin" in 1797, from Italian viola, from Old Provençal viola, Medieval Latin vitula" as a term which means "stringed instrument," from Vitula, Roman goddess of joy... or from related Latin verb vitulari, "to exult, be joyful." The related term "Viola da gamba" means "bass viol" is from Italian "a viola for the leg"." A violin is the "modern form of the smaller, medieval viola da braccio." The violin is called a fiddle, either when used in a folk music context, or in Classical music scenes, as an informal nickname for the instrument. The word "fiddle" was first used in English in the late 14th century.
The word "fiddle" comes from "fedele, fidel, earlier fithele, from Old English fiðele "fiddle,", related to Old Norse fiðla, Middle Dutch vedele, Dutch vedel, Old High German fidula, German Fiedel, "a fiddle. As to the origin of the word "fiddle", the "...usual suggestion, based on resemblance in sound and sense, is that it is from Medieval Latin vitula." The earliest stringed instruments were plucked. Two-stringed, bowed instruments, played upright and strung and bowed with horsehair, may have originated in the nomadic equestrian cultures of Central Asia, in forms resembling the modern-day Mongolian Morin huur and the Kazakh Kobyz. Similar and variant types were disseminated along East-West trading routes from Asia into the Middle East, the Byzantine Empire; the direct ancestor of all European bowed instruments is the Arabic rebab, which developed into the Byzantine lyra by the 9th century and the European rebec. The first makers of violins borrowed from various developments of the Byzantine lyra.
These included the lira da braccio. The violin in its present form emerged in early 16th-century northern Italy; the earliest pictures of violins, albeit with three strings, are seen in northern Italy around 1530, at around the same time as the words "violino" and "vyollon" are seen in Italian and French documents. One of the earliest explicit descriptions of the instrument, including its tuning, is from the Epitome musical by Jambe de Fer, published in Lyon in 1556. By this time, the violin had begun to spread throughout Europe; the violin proved popular, both among street musicians and the nobility. One of these "noble" instruments, the Charles IX, is the oldest surviving violin; the finest Renaissance carved and decorated violin in the world is the Gasparo da Salò owned by Ferdinand II, Archduke of Austria and from 1841, by the Norwegian virtuoso Ole Bull, who used it for forty years and thousands of concerts, for i
New Musical Express is a British music journalism website and former magazine, published since 1952. It was the first British paper to include a singles chart, in the edition of 14 November 1952. In the 1970s it became the best-selling British music newspaper. During the period 1972 to 1976, it was associated with gonzo journalism became associated with punk rock through the writings of Julie Burchill, Paul Morley and Tony Parsons, it started as a music newspaper, moved toward a magazine format during the 1980s and 1990s, changing from newsprint in 1998. An online version, NME.com, was launched in 1996. It became the world's biggest standalone music site, with over sixteen million users per month. With newsstand sales falling across the UK magazine sector, the magazine's paid circulation in the first half of 2014 was 15,830. In 2013, the list of NME's The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time and the way it was conceived was criticized by the media; the printed magazine NME was relaunched in September 2015 to be distributed nationally as a free publication.
The first average circulation published in February 2016 of 307,217 copies per week was the highest in the brand's history, beating the previous best of 306,881, recorded in 1964 at the height of the Beatles' fame. By December 2017, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations, average distribution of NME had fallen to 289,432 copies a week, although its publisher Time Inc. UK claimed to have more than 13m global unique users per month, including 3m in the UK. In March 2018, the publisher announced that the print edition of NME would cease publication after 66 years, leaving it as an online-only title. NME's headquarters are in Southwark, England; the brand's current editor is Charlotte Gunn, replacing Mike Williams, who stepped down in February 2018. The paper was established in 1952; the Accordion Times and Musical Express was bought by London music promoter Maurice Kinn, for the sum of £1,000, just 15 minutes before it was due to be closed. It was relaunched as the New Musical Express, was published in a non-glossy tabloid format on standard newsprint.
On 14 November 1952, taking its cue from the US magazine Billboard, it created the first UK Singles Chart, a list of the Top Twelve best-selling singles. The first of these was, in contrast to more recent charts, a top twelve sourced by the magazine itself from sales in regional stores around the UK; the first number one was "Here in My Heart" by Al Martino. During the 1960s the paper championed the new British groups emerging at the time; the NME circulation peaked under Andy Gray with a figure of 306,881 for the period from January to June 1964. The Beatles and the Rolling Stones were featured on the front cover; these and other artists appeared at the NME Poll Winners' Concert, an awards event that featured artists voted as most popular by the paper's readers. The concert featured a ceremony where the poll winners would collect their awards; the NME Poll Winners' Concerts took place between 1959 and 1972. From 1964 onwards they were filmed and transmitted on British television a few weeks after they had taken place.
In the mid-1960s, the NME was dedicated to pop while its older rival, Melody Maker, was known for its more serious coverage of music. Other competing titles included Record Mirror, which led the way in championing American rhythm and blues, Disc, which focused on chart news; the latter part of the decade saw the paper chart the rise of psychedelia and the continued dominance of British groups of the time. During this period some sections of pop music began to be designated as rock; the paper became engaged in a sometimes tense rivalry with Melody Maker. By the early 1970s, NME had lost ground to Melody Maker, as its coverage of music had failed to keep place with the development of rock music during the early years of psychedelia and progressive rock. In early 1972 the paper found itself on the verge of closure by its owner IPC. According to Nick Kent: After sales had plummeted to 60,000 and a review of guitar instrumentalist Duane Eddy had been printed which began with the immortal words "On this, his 35th album, we find Duane in as good as voice as ever," the NME had been told to rethink its policies or die on the vine.
Alan Smith was made editor in 1972, was told by IPC to turn things around or face closure. To achieve this and his assistant editor Nick Logan raided the underground press for writers such as Charles Shaar Murray and Nick Kent, recruited other writers such as Tony Tyler, Ian MacDonald and Californian Danny Holloway. According to The Economist, the New Musical Express "started to champion underground, up-and-coming music.... NME became the gateway to a more rebellious world. First came glamrock, bands such as T. Rex, came punk....by 1977 it had become the place to keep in touch with a cultural revolution, enthralling the nation's listless youth. Bands such as Sex Pistols, X-Ray Spex and Generation X were regular cover stars, eulogised by writers such as Julie Burchill and Tony Parsons, whose nihilistic tone narrated the punk years perfectly." By the time Smith handed the editor's chair to Logan in mid-1973, the paper was selling nearly 300,000 copies per week and was outstripping Melody Maker, Record Mirror and Sounds.
According to MacDonald: I think all the other papers knew by 1974 that NME had become the best music paper in Britain. We had most of the best writers and photographers, the best layouts
An album is a collection of audio recordings issued as a collection on compact disc, audio tape, or another medium. Albums of recorded music were developed in the early 20th century as individual 78-rpm records collected in a bound book resembling a photograph album. Vinyl LPs are still issued, though album sales in the 21st-century have focused on CD and MP3 formats; the audio cassette was a format used alongside vinyl from the 1970s into the first decade of the 2000s. An album may be recorded in a recording studio, in a concert venue, at home, in the field, or a mix of places; the time frame for recording an album varies between a few hours to several years. This process requires several takes with different parts recorded separately, brought or "mixed" together. Recordings that are done in one take without overdubbing are termed "live" when done in a studio. Studios are built to absorb sound, eliminating reverberation, so as to assist in mixing different takes. Recordings, including live, may contain sound effects, voice adjustments, etc..
With modern recording technology, musicians can be recorded in separate rooms or at separate times while listening to the other parts using headphones. Album covers and liner notes are used, sometimes additional information is provided, such as analysis of the recording, lyrics or librettos; the term "album" was applied to a collection of various items housed in a book format. In musical usage the word was used for collections of short pieces of printed music from the early nineteenth century. Collections of related 78rpm records were bundled in book-like albums; when long-playing records were introduced, a collection of pieces on a single record was called an album. An album, in ancient Rome, was a board chalked or painted white, on which decrees and other public notices were inscribed in black, it was from this that in medieval and modern times album came to denote a book of blank pages in which verses, sketches and the like are collected. Which in turn led to the modern meaning of an album as a collection of audio recordings issued as a single item.
In the early nineteenth century "album" was used in the titles of some classical music sets, such as Schumann's Album for the Young Opus 68, a set of 43 short pieces. When 78rpm records came out, the popular 10-inch disc could only hold about three minutes of sound per side, so all popular recordings were limited to around three minutes in length. Classical-music and spoken-word items were released on the longer 12-inch 78s, about 4–5 minutes per side. For example, in 1924, George Gershwin recorded a drastically shortened version of the seventeen-minute Rhapsody in Blue with Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra, it ran for 8m 59s. Deutsche Grammophon had produced an album for its complete recording of the opera Carmen in 1908. German record company Odeon released the Nutcracker Suite by Tchaikovsky in 1909 on 4 double-sided discs in a specially designed package; this practice of issuing albums does not seem to have been taken up by other record companies for many years. By about 1910, bound collections of empty sleeves with a paperboard or leather cover, similar to a photograph album, were sold as record albums that customers could use to store their records.
These albums came in both 12-inch sizes. The covers of these bound books were wider and taller than the records inside, allowing the record album to be placed on a shelf upright, like a book, suspending the fragile records above the shelf and protecting them. In the 1930s, record companies began issuing collections of 78 rpm records by one performer or of one type of music in specially assembled albums with artwork on the front cover and liner notes on the back or inside cover. Most albums included three or four records, with two sides each, making six or eight compositions per album; the 12-inch LP record, or 33 1⁄3 rpm microgroove vinyl record, is a gramophone record format introduced by Columbia Records in 1948. A single LP record had the same or similar number of tunes as a typical album of 78s, it was adopted by the record industry as a standard format for the "album". Apart from minor refinements and the important addition of stereophonic sound capability, it has remained the standard format for vinyl albums.
The term "album" was extended to other recording media such as Compact audio cassette, compact disc, MiniDisc, digital albums, as they were introduced. As part of a trend of shifting sales in the music industry, some observers feel that the early 21st century experienced the death of the album. While an album may contain as many or as few tracks as required, in the United States, The Recording Academy's rules for Grammy Awards state that an album must comprise a minimum total playing time of 15 minutes with at least five distinct tracks or a minimum total playing time of 30 minutes with no minimum track requirement. In the United Kingdom, the criteria for the UK Albums Chart is that a recording counts as an "album" i
Rolling Stone is an American monthly magazine that focuses on popular culture. It was founded in San Francisco, California in 1967 by Jann Wenner, still the magazine's publisher, the music critic Ralph J. Gleason, it was first known for political reporting by Hunter S. Thompson. In the 1990s, the magazine shifted focus to a younger readership interested in youth-oriented television shows, film actors, popular music. In recent years, it has resumed its traditional mix of content. Rolling Stone Press is the magazine's associated book publishing imprint. Straight Arrow Press was the magazine's associated book publishing imprint, Straight Arrow Publishing Co. Inc. was the publishing company that published Rolling Stone. Rolling Stone magazine was founded in San Francisco in 1967 by Ralph Gleason. To get it off the ground, Wenner borrowed $7,500 from his own family and from the parents of his soon-to-be wife, Jane Schindelheim; the first issue carried a cover date of November 9, 1967, was in newspaper format with a lead article on the Monterey Pop Festival.
The cover price was 25¢. In the first issue, Wenner explained that the title of the magazine referred to the 1950 blues song "Rollin' Stone", recorded by Muddy Waters, Bob Dylan's hit single "Like a Rolling Stone": You're wondering what we're trying to do. It's hard to say: sort of a sort of a newspaper; the name of it is Rolling Stone which comes from an old saying, "A rolling stone gathers no moss." Muddy Waters used the name for a song. The Rolling Stones took their name from Muddy's song. "Like a Rolling Stone" was the title of Bob Dylan's first rock and roll record. We have begun a new publication reflecting what we see are the changes in rock and roll and the changes related to rock and roll."—Jann Wenner, Rolling Stone, November 9, 1967, p. 2 Some authors have attributed the name to Dylan's hit single: "At Gleason's suggestion, Wenner named his magazine after a Bob Dylan song." Rolling Stone identified with and reported the hippie counterculture of the era. However, it distanced itself from the underground newspapers of the time, such as Berkeley Barb, embracing more traditional journalistic standards and avoiding the radical politics of the underground press.
In the first edition, Wenner wrote that Rolling Stone "is not just about the music, but about the things and attitudes that music embraces". In the 1970s, Rolling Stone began to make a mark with its political coverage, with the likes of gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson writing for the magazine's political section. Thompson first published his most famous work Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas within the pages of Rolling Stone, where he remained a contributing editor until his death in 2005. In the 1970s, the magazine helped launch the careers of many prominent authors, including Cameron Crowe, Lester Bangs, Joe Klein, Joe Eszterhas, Ben Fong-Torres, Patti Smith and P. J. O'Rourke, it was at this point that the magazine ran some of its most famous stories, including that of the Patty Hearst abduction odyssey. One interviewer, speaking for a large number of his peers, said that he bought his first copy of the magazine upon initial arrival on his college campus, describing it as a "rite of passage".
In 1977, the magazine moved its headquarters from San Francisco to New York City. Editor Jann Wenner said San Francisco had become "a cultural backwater". During the 1980s, the magazine began to shift towards being a general "entertainment" magazine. Music was still a dominant topic, but there was increasing coverage of celebrities in television and the pop culture of the day; the magazine initiated its annual "Hot Issue" during this time. Rolling Stone was known for its musical coverage and for Thompson's political reporting. In the 1990s, the magazine changed its format to appeal to a younger readership interested in youth-oriented television shows, film actors and popular music; this led to criticism. In recent years, the magazine has resumed its traditional mix of content, including in-depth political stories, it has expanded content to include coverage of financial and banking issues. As a result, the magazine has seen its circulation increase and its reporters invited as experts to network television programs of note.
The printed format has gone through several changes. The first publications, in 1967–72, were in folded tabloid newspaper format, with no staples, black ink text, a single color highlight that changed each edition. From 1973 onwards, editions were produced on a four-color press with a different newsprint paper size. In 1979, the bar code appeared. In 1980, it became a large format magazine; as of edition of October 30, 2008, Rolling Stone has had a smaller, standard-format magazine size. After years of declining readership, the magazine experienced a major resurgence of interest and relevance with the work of two young journalists in the late 2000s, Michael Hastings and Matt Taibbi. In 2005, Dana Leslie Fields, former publisher of Rolling Stone, who had worked at the magazine for 17 years, was an inaugural inductee into the Magazine Hall of Fame. In 2009, Taibbi unleashed an acclaimed series of scathing reports on the financial meltdown of the time, he famously described Goldman Sachs as "a great vampire squid".
Bigger headlines came at the end of June 2010. Rolling Stone caused a controversy in the White House by publishing in the July issue an article by journalist Michael Hastings entitled, "The Runaway General", quoting criticism by General Stanley A. McChrystal, commander of the International Security Assistance Force and U. S. Forces-Afghanistan commander, about Vice President Joe Biden and oth
The viola is a string instrument, bowed or played with varying techniques. It is larger than a violin and has a lower and deeper sound. Since the 18th century, it has been the middle or alto voice of the violin family, between the violin and the cello; the strings from low to high are tuned to C3, G3, D4, A4. In the past, the viola varied in style, as did its names; the word viola originates from Italian. The Italians used the term: "viola da braccio" meaning literally:'of the arm'. "Brazzo" was another Italian word for the viola. The French had their own names: cinquiesme was a small viola, haute contre was a large viola, taile was a tenor. Today, the French use the term alto, a reference to its range; the viola was popular in the heyday of five-part harmony, up until the eighteenth century, taking three lines of the harmony and playing the melody line. Music for the viola differs from most other instruments in that it uses the alto clef; when viola music has substantial sections in a higher register, it switches to the treble clef to make it easier to read.
The viola plays the "inner voices" in string quartets and symphonic writing, it is more than the first violin to play accompaniment parts. The viola plays a major, soloistic role in orchestral music. Examples include the symphonic poem Don Quixote by Richard Strauss and the symphony Harold en Italie by Hector Berlioz. In the earlier part of the 20th century, more composers began to write for the viola, encouraged by the emergence of specialized soloists such as Lionel Tertis and William Primrose. English composers Arthur Bliss, York Bowen, Benjamin Dale, Frank Bridge, Benjamin Britten and Ralph Vaughan Williams all wrote substantial chamber and concert works. Many of these pieces were written for Lionel Tertis. William Walton, Bohuslav Martinů, Toru Takemitsu, Tibor Serly, Alfred Schnittke, Béla Bartók have written well-known viola concertos. Paul Hindemith, a violist, wrote a substantial amount of music for viola, including the concerto Der Schwanendreher; the concerti by Paul Hindemith, Béla Bartók, William Walton are considered the "big three" of viola repertoire.
The viola is similar in construction to the violin. A full-size viola's body is between 25 mm and 100 mm longer than the body of a full-size violin, with an average length of 41 cm. Small violas made for children start at 30 cm, equivalent to a half-size violin. For a child who needs a smaller size, a fractional-sized violin is strung with the strings of a viola. Unlike the violin, the viola does not have a standard full size; the body of a viola would need to measure about 51 cm long to match the acoustics of a violin, making it impractical to play in the same manner as the violin. For centuries, viola makers have experimented with the size and shape of the viola adjusting proportions or shape to make a lighter instrument with shorter string lengths, but with a large enough sound box to retain the viola sound. Prior to the eighteenth century, violas had no uniform size. Large violas were designed to play the lower register viola lines or second viola in five part harmony depending on instrumentation.
A smaller viola, nearer the size of the violin, was called an alto viola. It was more suited to higher register writing, as in the viola 1 parts, as their sound was richer in the upper register, its size was not as conducive to a full tone in the lower register. Several experiments have intended to increase the size of the viola to improve its sound. Hermann Ritter's viola alta, which measured about 48 cm, was intended for use in Wagner's operas; the Tertis model viola, which has wider bouts and deeper ribs to promote a better tone, is another "nonstandard" shape that allows the player to use a larger instrument. Many experiments with the acoustics of a viola increasing the size of the body, have resulted in a much deeper tone, making it resemble the tone of a cello. Since many composers wrote for a traditional-sized viola in orchestral music, changes in the tone of a viola can have unintended consequences upon the balance in ensembles. One of the most notable makers of violas of the twentieth century was Englishman A. E. Smith, whose violas are sought after and valued.
Many of his violas remain in Australia, his country of residence, where during some decades the violists of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra had a dozen of them in their section. More recent innovations have addressed the ergonomic problems associated with playing the viola by making it shorter and lighter, while finding ways to keep the traditional sound; these include the Otto Erdesz "cutaway" viola, which has one shoulder cut out to make shifting easier. Other experiments that deal with the "ergonomics vs. sound" problem have appeared. The American composer Harry Partch fitted a viola with a cello neck to allow the use of his 43-tone scale. Luthiers have created five-stringed violas, which allow a greater playing range. A person who plays the viola is called a violist or a viola
The guitar is a fretted musical instrument that has six strings. It is played with both hands by strumming or plucking the strings with either a guitar pick or the finger/fingernails of one hand, while fretting with the fingers of the other hand; the sound of the vibrating strings is projected either acoustically, by means of the hollow chamber of the guitar, or through an electrical amplifier and a speaker. The guitar is a type of chordophone, traditionally constructed from wood and strung with either gut, nylon or steel strings and distinguished from other chordophones by its construction and tuning; the modern guitar was preceded by the gittern, the vihuela, the four-course Renaissance guitar, the five-course baroque guitar, all of which contributed to the development of the modern six-string instrument. There are three main types of modern acoustic guitar: the classical guitar, the steel-string acoustic guitar, the archtop guitar, sometimes called a "jazz guitar"; the tone of an acoustic guitar is produced by the strings' vibration, amplified by the hollow body of the guitar, which acts as a resonating chamber.
The classical guitar is played as a solo instrument using a comprehensive finger-picking technique where each string is plucked individually by the player's fingers, as opposed to being strummed. The term "finger-picking" can refer to a specific tradition of folk, blues and country guitar playing in the United States; the acoustic bass guitar is a low-pitched instrument, one octave below a regular guitar. Electric guitars, introduced in the 1930s, use an amplifier and a loudspeaker that both makes the sound of the instrument loud enough for the performers and audience to hear, given that it produces an electric signal when played, that can electronically manipulate and shape the tone using an equalizer and a huge variety of electronic effects units, the most used ones being distortion and reverb. Early amplified guitars employed a hollow body, but solid wood guitars began to dominate during the 1960s and 1970s, as they are less prone to unwanted acoustic feedback "howls"; as with acoustic guitars, there are a number of types of electric guitars, including hollowbody guitars, archtop guitars and solid-body guitars, which are used in rock music.
The loud, amplified sound and sonic power of the electric guitar played through a guitar amp has played a key role in the development of blues and rock music, both as an accompaniment instrument and performing guitar solos, in many rock subgenres, notably heavy metal music and punk rock. The electric guitar has had a major influence on popular culture; the guitar is used in a wide variety of musical genres worldwide. It is recognized as a primary instrument in genres such as blues, country, folk, jota, metal, reggae, rock and many forms of pop. Before the development of the electric guitar and the use of synthetic materials, a guitar was defined as being an instrument having "a long, fretted neck, flat wooden soundboard, a flat back, most with incurved sides." The term is used to refer to a number of chordophones that were developed and used across Europe, beginning in the 12th century and in the Americas. A 3,300-year-old stone carving of a Hittite bard playing a stringed instrument is the oldest iconographic representation of a chordophone and clay plaques from Babylonia show people playing an instrument that has a strong resemblance to the guitar, indicating a possible Babylonian origin for the guitar.
The modern word guitar, its antecedents, has been applied to a wide variety of chordophones since classical times and as such causes confusion. The English word guitar, the German Gitarre, the French guitare were all adopted from the Spanish guitarra, which comes from the Andalusian Arabic قيثارة and the Latin cithara, which in turn came from the Ancient Greek κιθάρα. Which comes from the Persian word "sihtar"; this pattern of naming is visible in setar and sitar. The word "tar" at the end of all of these words is a Persian word that means "string". Many influences are cited as antecedents to the modern guitar. Although the development of the earliest "guitars" is lost in the history of medieval Spain, two instruments are cited as their most influential predecessors, the European lute and its cousin, the four-string oud. At least two instruments called "guitars" were in use in Spain by 1200: the guitarra latina and the so-called guitarra morisca; the guitarra morisca had a rounded back, wide fingerboard, several sound holes.
The guitarra Latina had a narrower neck. By the 14th century the qualifiers "moresca" or "morisca" and "latina" had been dropped, these two cordophones were referred to as guitars; the Spanish vihuela, called in Italian the "viola da mano", a guitar-like instrument of the 15th and 16th centuries, is considered to have been the single most important influence in the development of the baroque guitar. It had six courses, lute-like tuning in fourths and a guitar-like body, although early representations reveal an instrument with a cut waist, it was larger than the contemporary four-course guitars. By the 16th century, the vihuela's construction had more in common with the modern guitar, with its curved one-piece ribs, than with the viols, more like a larger version of the contemporary four-course guita
The cello or violoncello is a string instrument. It is played by bowing or plucking its four strings, which are tuned in perfect fifths an octave lower than the viola: from low to high, C2, G2, D3 and A3, it is the bass member of the violin family, which includes the violin and the double bass, which doubles the bass line an octave lower than the cello in much of the orchestral repertoire. After the double bass, it is the second-largest and second lowest bowed string instrument in the modern symphony orchestra; the cello is used as a solo instrument, as well as in chamber music ensembles, string orchestras, as a member of the string section of symphony orchestras, most modern Chinese orchestras, some types of rock bands. Music for the cello is written in the bass clef, but both tenor clef and treble clef are used for higher-range parts, both in orchestral/chamber music parts and in solo cello works. A person who plays the cello is called a violoncellist. In a small classical ensemble, such as a string quartet, the cello plays the bass part, the lowest-pitched musical line of the piece.
In an orchestra of the Baroque era and Classical period, the cello plays the bass part doubled an octave lower by the double basses. In Baroque-era music, the cello is used to play the basso continuo bassline along with a keyboard instrument or a fretted, plucked stringed instrument. In such a Baroque performance, the cello player might be joined or replaced by other bass instruments, playing bassoon, double bass, viol or other low-register instruments; the name cello is derived from the ending of the Italian violoncello, which means "little violone". Violone was a large-sized member of the violin family; the term "violone" today refers to the lowest-pitched instrument of the viols, a family of stringed instruments that went out of fashion around the end of the 17th century in most countries except England and France, where they survived another half-century before the louder violin family came into greater favour in that country as well. In modern symphony orchestras, it is the second largest stringed instrument.
Thus, the name "violoncello" contained both the augmentative "-one" and the diminutive "-cello". By the turn of the 20th century, it had become common to shorten the name to'cello, with the apostrophe indicating the missing stem, it is now customary to use "cello" without apostrophe as the full designation. Viol is derived from the root viola, derived from Medieval Latin vitula, meaning stringed instrument. Cellos are tuned in fifths, starting with C2, followed by G2, D3, A3, it is tuned in the same intervals as the viola. Unlike the violin or viola but similar to the double bass, the cello has an endpin that rests on the floor to support the instrument's weight; the cello is most associated with European classical music, has been described as the closest sounding instrument to the human voice. The instrument is a part of the standard orchestra, as part of the string section, is the bass voice of the string quartet, as well as being part of many other chamber groups. Among the most well-known Baroque works for the cello are Johann Sebastian Bach's six unaccompanied Suites.
The cello figures as a member of the basso continuo group in chamber works by Francesca Caccini, Barbara Strozzi with pieces such as Il primo libro di madrigali, per 2–5 voci e basso continuo, op. 1 and Elisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre who wrote six sonatas for violin and basso continuo. 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 Ludwig van Beethoven, which span the important three periods of his compositional evolution. A Divertimento for Piano, Clarinet and Cello is among the surviving works by Duchess Anna Amalia of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel. A review of compositions for cello in the Romantic era must include the German composer Fanny Mendelssohn who wrote the Fantasy in G minor for cello and piano and a Capriccio in A-flat for cello. Other well-known works of the era include the Robert Schumann Concerto, the Antonín Dvořák Concerto as well as the two sonatas and the Double Concerto by Johannes Brahms.
Compositions from the late-19th and early 20th century include three cello sonatas by Dame Ethel Smyth, Edward Elgar's Cello Concerto in E minor, Claude Debussy's Sonata for Cello and Piano, unaccompanied cello sonatas by Zoltán Kodály and Paul Hindemith. Pieces including cello were written by American Music Cente founder Marion Bauer and Ruth Crawford Seeger. Polish composer Grażyna Bacewicz was writing for cello in the mid 20th century with Concerto No. 1 for Cello and Orchestra, Concerto No. 2 for Cello and Orchestra and in 1964 composed her Quartet for four cellos. The cello's versatility made it popular with many male composers in this era as well, such as Sergei Prokofiev, Dmitri Shostakovich, Benjamin Britten, György Ligeti, Witold Lutoslawski and Henri Dutilleux. Well-known cellists include Jacqueline du Pre, Raya Garbousova, Zara Nelsova, Hildur Gudna