There are many types of Cello produced for use in the musical world, often with differing back lengths and speaking lengths. Most make use of differing woods to produce a lighter, richer, deeper and different tone for the pleasure of both player and listener. Personal preference is a deciding factor when purchasing one of these beautiful instruments as is a certain degree of perseverance with rosining the bow and learning the playing styles necessary to play some of the composers work.
Two of the leading styles of Cello are the Montagnana and the Stradivari Cellos. These two types follow the style of two of the major influences in instrument creation, Domenico Montagnana and the Stradivarius family. The Montagnana style Cello is wider bodied and is said to produce a deeper, more masculine tone and the Stradivari is reputed to produce a lighter, feminine tone courtesy of its dimensions and styling.
While ever popular in classical and symphonic music the Cello has also made its appearance in popular and rock music. In the 1960s, artists such as the Beatles and Cher used the cello in popular music, in songs such as "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)", "Eleanor Rigby" and "Strawberry Fields Forever". Bass guitarist Jack Bruce, who had originally studied music on a performance scholarship for cello, played a prominent cello part in "As You Said" on Cream's Wheels of Fire studio album (1968). In the 1970s, the Electric Light Orchestra enjoyed great commercial success taking inspiration from so-called "Beatlesque" arrangements, adding the cello (and violin) to the standard rock combo line-up and in 1978 the UK based rock band, Colosseum II, collaborated with cellist Julian Lloyd Webber on the recording Variations. Most notably, Pink Floyd included a cello solo in their 1970 epic instrumental "Atom Heart Mother". Bass guitarist Mike Rutherford of Genesis was originally a cellist and included some cello parts in their Foxtrot album.
Established non-traditional cello groups include Apocalyptica, a group of Finnish cellists best known for their versions of Metallica songs, Rasputina, a group of cellists committed to an intricate cello style intermingled with Gothic music, Von Cello, a cello fronted rock power trio, Break of Reality who mix elements of classical music with the more modern rock and metal genre, and Jelloslave, a Minneapolis based Cello duo with two percussionists. These groups are examples of a style that has become known as cello rock. The crossover string quartet bond also includes a cellist. Silenzium and Cellissimo Quartet are Russian (Novosibirsk) groups playing rock and metal and having more and more popularity in Siberia. Cold Fairyland from Shanghai, China is using a cello along a Pipa as the main solo instrument to create East meets West progressive (folk) rock.
More recent bands using the cello are Aerosmith , The Auteurs, Nirvana, Oasis , Murder by Death, Cursive, A Genuine Freakshow, Ra Ra Riot, Smashing Pumpkins, James, and OneRepublic. An Atlanta-based trio, King Richard's Sunday Best, also uses a cellist in their lineup. So-called "chamber pop" artists like Kronos Quartet, The Vitamin String Quartet and Margot and the Nuclear So and So's have also recently made cello common in modern alternative rock. Heavy metal band System of a Down has also made use of the cello's rich sound. The indie rock band The Stiletto Formal are known for using a cello as a major staple of their sound, similarly, the indie rock band Canada employs two cello players in their lineup. The orch-rock group, The Polyphonic Spree, which has pioneered the use of stringed and symphonic instruments, employs the cello in very creative ways for many of their "psychedelic-esque" melodies. The first wave screamo band I Would Set Myself On Fire For You featured a cello as well as a viola to create a more folk-oriented sound. The band, Panic! At the Disco uses a cello in their song, "Build God, Then We'll Talk." The lead vocalist of the band, Brendon Urie, also did the recording of the cello solo. The Pictures below show noted Cellists Yo Yo Ma with his antique Montagnana Cello and Soo Bae with a Stradivari model.
References: The Soundpost, Lady Rothering, and Wikipedia