The Cello as Vox Humana

Today I had my 9th Cello lesson, and besides the usual workbook exercises, my niece has been fabulous in discussing the practical approach I’m taking to writing songs with it.

Last week we discussed and played pizzicato – that it can be a stand up bass. This week I found my vocal range on the D string and then it clicked – its hands down the best instrument to write a vocal melody. The piano is a close second, but the Cello can be played in different ways that is more expressive, coming closer to how expressive the human voice is.

I have no problem writing lyrics or musical melodies, but now that I’m trying to sing I understand that there is a big difference between a vocal and instrumental melody. You might get lucky and write both, but I think an instrumental melody is much easier to write.

I didn’t have the time for a vocal melody today, but I enjoy writing both kinds of songs equally.

Vox Humana – Pipe Organ Reeds
The Cello is a Vox Humana
It has vocal cord like strings
A semi human body
And a voice box that sings

You can pluck it or bow it
And play its harmonics
You can play Rock and Roll
Or Musical Sonnets

You can find your voice
And learn to sing
Write new melodies
Oh what joy it brings!

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