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A person who plays the cello is called a cellist or violoncellist. 1725-1800), the cello typically plays the bass part, generally an octave higher than the double basses.
In a small Classical ensemble, such as a string quartet, the cello typically plays the bass part, the lowest-pitched musical line of the piece. In Baroque era music, the cello is used to play the basso continuo bassline, typically along with a keyboard instrument (e.g., pipe organ or harpsichord) or a fretted, plucked stringed instrument (e.g., lute or theorbo).
The violin family, including cello-sized instruments, emerged c.
1500 as family of instruments distinct from the viola da gamba family.
Although the first bass violin, possibly invented as early as 1538, was most likely inspired by the viol, it was created to be used in consort with the violin.
The bass violin was actually often referred to as a "violone", or "large viola", as were the viols of the same period.
The invention of wire-wound strings (fine wire around a thin gut core), around 1660 in Bologna, allowed for a finer bass sound than was possible with purely gut strings on such a short body.The earliest depictions of the violin family, from northern Italy c.1530, show three sizes of instruments, roughly corresponding to what we now call violins, violas, and cellos.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, as part of the string section, and is the bass voice of the string quartet (although many composers give it a melodic role as well), as well as being part of many other chamber groups.