The Anatomy of the Cello

The cello is a member of the violin family and this beautiful instrument both looks and sounds impressive. Each part of the cello plays an important role in how the instrument works: 

Scroll: The scroll is a decoratively carved piece of wood at the top of the cello. It is typically carved in the shape of a volute (a spiral) although some luthier's will carve the scroll into different shapes or adorn it with decoration. 

Peg Box: Below the scroll is the peg box, it is a hollowed out compartment which houses the tuning pegs. 

Pegs: There are four pegs on a cello. The strings are wound around the pegs which will allow the player to tune the cello by either tightening or loosening the strings by turning the pegs.

Nut: The nut is a raised piece of wood below the peg box. It sits where the fingerboard meets the peg box and has grooves in which the strings rest to keep them aligned.

Neck: The neck of the cello holds the fingerboard and the strings.

Fingerboard: The fingerboard is attached to the neck of the cello. The fingerboard has a curved shape to allow the player to bow each of the strings. Unlike the guitar the cello fingerboard does not have any frets.  

Strings: The cello hosts four strings, the pitches of the open strings are C, G, D, and A. Traditionally, cello strings were made of catgut (dried out sheep or goat intestines) but they are now made of metallic materials such as titanium and aluminium. 

F-Holes: The f-holes are named for their distinctive "f" shape are located either side of the bridge. The f-holes allow air to move in and out of the cello to aid sound-production.

Bridge: The bridge is located between the f-holes and is held in place by the tension of the strings. The bridge hold the strings above the cello to allow the strings vibrations to transfer to the top of the instrument and the sound post inside.

Fine Tuners: The fine tuners are located on the cellos tailpiece and are used to make smaller adjustments to the to the pitch of the strings.

Tailpiece: The tailpiece is located in the lower part of the cello. It is used to attach the strings to the lower end of the cello. 

End Pin: The end pin is found right at the bottom of the cello. It is used to support the instrument on the floor rather than the player having to hold the instrument between their legs or strapped onto the body. Most modern day end pins are adjustable and retractable compared to older ones which had to be removed from the instrument when not in use.

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