Largest and lowest‐pitched of bowed string instruments, derived from the violone. Formerly had 3 strings but now generally has 4, usually tuned at the interval of a 4th. Compass from E just over an octave below bass stave upwards for nearly 3 octaves. Some instruments have 5 strings, extra string sounding B below bottom E. Generally an orchestral instrument, but occasionally used in chamber music and very occasionally as solo concerto instrument. Used in jazz and dance bands, mostly pizzicato.