The cello is one of the mainstays of any classical music group, from string quartet to concert orchestra. The rich bass sound, with its resonating loud, deep tone, is the foundation for any musical score.
The cello is also a large instrument and is rather awkward to carry. In 1997, after thorough consultations with cellists, the designers at Yamaha developed their first Silent Cello, an electronic alternative that achieved the same natural warmth and feel of the original acoustic instrument. The benefits of the Silent Cello for the musician included the ability to practice with no sound restrictions, the reduced size and weight of the instrument and added functions for different styles of music. The design of the Silent Cello does not reject its original acoustic counterpart, but pays homage to it: the seductive curves of the cello are evoked, despite there being no need for the shape which serves to resonate the sound. The key components are crafted in high-quality woods, including maple, spruce and ebony, in keeping with the tradition of classical instrument making. The sound it produces is generated electronically, yet in keeping with the philosophy of Yamaha – working to the highest standards of audio production. In contrast to the instruments skeletal appearance the sound is warm and full-bodied, with most of the characteristics and nuances found in any acoustic cello. Further, it is able to place the sound in acoustic environments without requiring any external processing equipment, since it is all done internally. By using headphones, the cello can be played in any environment and, with its slim proportions, is easily transported because of its ability to be broken down to fit into a compact case.