The third lowest member of the violin family, after the violin and the viola. The violoncello (often shortened to just cello) is actually the lowest member of those descended from the viola da braccio with a range of C below the bass clef to G at the top of the treble clef. It is as expressive and versatile as the violin, but with a richer, deeper, darker tone.See also violin.Also [Fr.] violoncelle; [Ger.] Violoncell; [It.] cello; [It.] violoncello; [Sp.] violoncelo or [Sp.] violonchelo.bass member of the string instrument family, the principal member of which is the violin. tuned an octave below the viola