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Originated from the Italian word “violoncello” meaning “little big violone,” the modern cello is played as a solo instrument in chamber music, provides the bass voice of a string quartet, and is also a component of a standard symphony orchestra. It is a member of the violin family along with the violin and viola and in a symphony orchestra is second only to the double bass in size. Comprised of four strings tuned to perfect fifths, the cello possesses the same intervals as the viola but is set an octave lower. The instrument is said to be the closest sounding instrument to the male voice.