What You Must Know About Violas

As early as the 1530s, the viola was invented and introduced to the people in Italy. Generally, it was acknowledged that the bass, tenor, and alto versions were designed after the high-pitched or soprano instrument. And the name viola was inspired from the bowed stringed instruments that are played in the shoulders and arms.

Interestingly, there are plenty of things you should know before looking for violas for sale if you want to be a musician of this instrument.

Understanding the Components of a Viola

Just like the violin and other stringed instruments, the viola has a rounded back, low ribs, four strings on the curved bridge, elevated neck with scroll, fretless fingerboard, and F-shaped holes where the sound is produced. These components help create the perfect tone and rhythm needed by the violists.

From the violin family, violas are the alto tone and are tuned in perfect fifths below violin. They might look like the violin and require the same techniques, but violas have broader movements and bigger in size than violins. In addition, the E string is replaced by C string which makes viola different from the violin.

How Violas Were Designed

Unlike before, the construction of viola is much better and more convenient. For instance, their strings are now heavier while the tension was increased in order to create better projection. In addition to that, the neck is slightly set backward to the viola’s body to make it longer.

However, the circumference was retained as well as the whole length of the instrument to make things easier when sliding up or down to various positions. During the improvements of viola construction, the bridge and the body were reinforced as well.

Quick Facts About Your Viola

Unfortunately, the viola is the sole instrument with alto clef. That means, only violists are able to read this. Therefore, a lot of musicians don’t choose to play viola because they think that it’s really hard to learn and play.

Two of the best contributors to the improvement of viola instruments are Lionel Tertis and Arthur Richardson. They collaborated in order to figure out how to improve the viola and make it a more ideal stringed instrument for all types of musicians.


It might not be easy to understand the viola, but the fact that you can learn and have fun playing this instrument is enough reason to choose viola. Not to mention, it’s a classic instrument that is essential in an orchestra and other musical performances. What other things do you know about violas?

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