Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Cello and Banjo


The cello or violoncello, is the second largest member of the violin family of musical instruments. It is turned an octave below the viola and serves as both a melodic and a bass instrument in chamber and orchestral music. The body of the cello is approximately 76 cm (30 in) long and is much deeper than those of the violin and viola. The cellist is seated and supports the instrument between his or her calves, with its lower end raised off the floor by an end pin. The cello emerged in the 16th century and was used primarily in figured-bass accompaniments for half of the 17th century, after which its warm tone and wide range inspired a wealth of solo and chamber music. Don't interchange with cellophane because cellophane is a transparent packaging film based on the cellulose derived wood pulp.


The banjo is plucked string instrument that has a long fretted neck piercing a circular frame over which a membrane is tightened with thumb screws, often containing a resonator over the open back. A descendant of the West African long-necked lute, it came to Americas with the slave trade. In the 19th century a more highly developed banjo, popular especially in blackface minstrel shows, was exported to England. In the early 20th century it became an important rhythmic instrument of the jazz band, and it is now cultivated as a folk instrument. The standard form is the finger-style banjo, originally gut-strung, its five strings plucked with bare fingers. A plectrum banjo with four metal strings is another type.

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