The violoncello (abbreviated to cello , or ' cello , plural cellos or celli) is a bowed string instrument. A person who plays a cello is called a cellist. The cello is used as a solo instrument, in chamber music, and as a member of the string section of an orchestra. It is the second physically largest member of the violin family of musical instruments, next to the double bass.
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 and is the bass voice of the string quartet, as well as being part of many other chamber groups. A large number of concertos and sonatas have been written for the cello. The instrument is less common in popular music, but is sometimes featured in pop and rock recordings.
Among the most well-known Baroque works for the cello are J. S. Bach's six unaccompanied Suites.