The cello . . . for those of you who sadly don’t know what it is.

GS054048One of the most surprising things I am constantly asked is, “So . . . what exactly is that??”  This particular question comes from all sorts of people of all different shapes, sizes and ages.  All of them are haplessly referring (and sometimes pointing) to my cello.  Oh the world is long lost and long gone. . . Has culture evaded the classical music world completely? Seriously, you would be surprised to know how many times I have been asked this question in the past few days.  I am not exaggerating when I say this instance has totaled over 10 in just 2 weeks . . . I have been asked the question numerous amounts of times before and I am still still very much appalled every time I hear it (well, maybe not literally “appalled”–but close enough).  I think I want to go cry sometimes . . .  It doesn’t necessarily help when the very next thing I am asked is, “So why on earth did you choose something so large?? You should have chosen the flute.”  I do cry (internally) on being asked this.  First of all, the flute is everything the cello is not (one of my other cello friends pointed this enlightenment out to me in a discussion over instruments). The flute, well .  .  is just not quite so mellow, deep, emotional or nearly as luscious as chocolate in comparison (however, it may be occasionally pretty when played with a cello . . .). However in response, I usually just laugh and say something nice like, “Well, what instrument do you play?” (hoping it is not the flute). So, you might think the conversation would get better from here . . .  it doesn’t.  My cello is no longer called, “cello” but rather, “big fiddle” (cringe cringe CRINGE).  I get all questions as to what type of “fiddle” music I play . . . none actually–unless it’s some previously scored orchestrated version of Orange Blossom Special.  You would be surprised how many “hick” people think I must be “hick” just like them because my “fiddle” is oversized . . . (actually, being “hick” might be fun once in a while).

So, my friends, the cello is a wonderful instrument for which Bach wrote a wonderful series of unaccompanied suites; a fabulous instrument for which Dvorak, Sir Elgar, Saint Saens, and Barber wrote wonderful concerti.  Please, it many not be the wisest thing to refer to it as a “big fiddle,” but rather by “cello” (“celli” is plural), or if you really want to sound cultured, you can say, “violoncello,” or if you see me and want to be friendly–you can just call my cello, “Oliver.” That’s his name.


6 thoughts on “The cello . . . for those of you who sadly don’t know what it is.

  1. you wouldn’t believe how many people ask me what my violin is!!!!!!!!! it really is appaling!!!!! People these days are so uncultured!

    p.s. my violin’s name is Selina

  2. Hello to you and Oliver. I will forgive your sensational comments about a certain instrument that I happen to play, but only because I like you very much. 😉 Missing you!

    • You know I really don’t hate the flute . . . It just happens to be the instrument that all cellists pick on. Love you and miss you too B!


  3. You realize I may use this just to annoy you now, right?
    “Hi, LB! How’s your big fiddle?”
    …well, probably not. I’m rather fond of you and Oliver. 😉

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