Cello rock is a genre of music characterized by the use of cellos
and other stringed instruments such as violin and viola to create a sound,
beat, and texture similar to that of familiar rock music, but distinctly
reshaped by the unique timbres and more traditional genres of the cello (in
particular) and other stringed instruments used. The cellos and other
stringed instruments are often electronically amplified and/or
electronically modified. They are often combined with other elements typical
of rock music such as rock-style vocals and rock-style drumming.
Cello rock has been developing slowly over the years, with its
direct influences dating as far back as the 1930s in Russia and Germany. The
popularity of Cello rock is steadily on the rise, as artists such as
Metallica and Marilyn Manson lend support to the fledgling groups, though
the genre still lies mostly in the dark in the United States music scene.
Examples of Cello rock groups are Apocalyptica, Rasputina, Break
of Reality, and Primitivity. Apocalyptica has caused a veritable musical
revolution on the European continent. Pioneered by a Finnish quartet (now
trio), Apocalyptica originally played cello rock covers of heavy metal
songs, including ones by Metallica. They now mostly play their own
compositions. Rasputina is an American band that is known for covering Led
Zeppelin songs live, wearing nothing but Victorian Period Clothing such as
corsets, and catering to the American goth scene. Primitivity is the project
name for cellist Loren Westbrook-Fritts' cello rock. Westbrook-Fritts began
by covering songs of Megadeth, and has more recently created original music
and classical music converted to metal.
A subgenre pioneered by cellist Gideon Freudmann, which he coined
"Cellobop" (a term he also uses personally), is essentially
folk-rock cello, or more specifically and officially: "Imagine the
passion of a Mozart aria or the fury of a Bartok quartet layered with an
Cello rock now has record labels devoted solely to the production
of music in that genre, such as Vitamin Records.