American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A cello.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The modern form of medieval viola da gamba. it is properly a bass violin rather than a small violone, as its name suggests, since its form is that of the violin rather than of the true viol. Its size is about double that of the violin. It began to be popular for concered music early in the seventeenth century, and for solo use about a century later. Its four strings are tuned thus: A, D, G, C (the second below middle C), the third and fourth being silver strings. In playing, the violoncello is rested vertically by means of a wooden peg or standard on the floor between the player's knees. The method of playing is otherwise very similar to that of the violin, including the same special effects. The tone is very sonorous and expressive, combining the advantages of the violin tone with the breadth of a tenor compass. The bow used is similar to that for the violin, but larger. In modern music the violoncello stands next, in importance, among the stringed instruments, to the violin, both as a member of the orchestra and as a solo instrument. Commonly abbreviated cello, 'cello.
- n. In organ-building, a pedal stop of eight-feet tone, having metal pipes of narrow scale and a very string-like quality.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Mus.) A stringed instrument of music; a bass viol of four strings, or a bass violin with long, large strings, giving sounds an octave lower than the viola, or tenor or alto violin.
- n. a large stringed instrument; seated player holds it upright while playing
- Italian, diminutive of violone, violone; see violone. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“My violoncello was the inspiration for the Man Ray derivation on my back.”
“People have been playing the instrument, formally known as the violoncello, since the mid-16th century.”
“a kind of violoncello, the "tschibyzga," a long reed flute; wind instruments, tom-toms, tambourines, united with the deep voices of the singers, formed a strange harmony.”
“Torelli's op. 4 for violin and violoncello contributed to the repertory of unaccompanied duos not unusual at the period.”
“The string quartet, for two violins, viola and violoncello, was one of the most widely-cultivated genres of chamber music during the Classical period, with the Viennese masters Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven all contributing substantially to the literature.”
“Younger artists include Han-Na Chang on violoncello, who will perform works by Elgar and Mahler.”
“Visitors can listen to pianist André Previn, violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter and violoncello player Lynne Harrell perform together in a 1,600-year-old church, or sit where the sultans strolled, in the courtyard of Topkapi Palace, and hear a guitarist play Tchaikovsky, Schubert and other composers.”
“It was equally uncertain whether the principal female singer would be sufficiently recovered from the influenza to make her appearance; Mr. Harleigh, the MASANIELLO of the night, was hoarse, and rather unwell, in consequence of the great quantity of lemon and sugar – candy he had eaten to improve his voice; and two flutes and a violoncello had pleaded severe colds.”
“The distant groaning of the violoncello ceased; footsteps were heard on the stairs; and Mr. Timson presented himself, and shook hands with Parsons with the utmost cordiality.”
“The overture, in fact, was not unlike a race between the different instruments; the piano came in first by several bars, and the violoncello next, quite distancing the poor flute; for the deaf gentleman”
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Organ stops, that is.
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