The viola is a bowed string instrument, slightly larger than a violin. For more than two centuries it has been the middle voice of the violin family, tuned a perfect fifth above the violin and an octave below the cello. A viola is held in the same manner as a violin, with just a few adjustments necessary to accommodate its larger size.
More Viola Facts
A person who performs on this string instrument is called a violist.
Notable violists include Yuri Bashmet, Luigi Alberto Bianchi, Gérard Caussé, Bruno Giuranna, Rivka Golani, Kim Kashkashian, Nobuko Imai, Michael Kugel, and Tabea Zimmermann.
Classical composers who were also violists include Johann Sebastian Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven, Antonín Dvořák, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
During the 20th century, virtuosos Lionel Tertis and William Primrose broke tradition and focused their careers on solo viola playing. The accomplished musicians introduced the viola to a broader audience, discovered ancient works, and even created a school. Source: Viola in Music – Famous Viola Players
Viola Fingering Chart
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Listen to the Viola
Performed by String Planet with Violist Novi Novog
Enjoy the super-talented duo of Novi Novog and Larry Tuttle as they perform a String Planet montage, on which Larry is playing Chapman Stick. Novi began playing piano at age four, then moved on to the violin and viola. She has appeared on countless recordings, films, television shows, and concert stages all over the world. String Planet’s compositions have been used in hundreds of television shows, as well as in many films and commercials.
Best Gifts for Music Lovers
We’ve created more than 2,000 products for string instrument players and music lovers. Find a unique gift for your favorite viola player or enthusiast. Beware of inferior copycats! Our original designs are available here and in our String Kings Music Viola collection.
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Mendini Natural Varnish Solid Wood Viola
- 16-inch natural varnish viola
- Hand-carved solid spruce top with maple back and sides
- Maple fingerboard, pegs, chin rest
- Alloy tailpiece with four integrated fine tuners
- Strung with Cecilio strings
- Includes lightweight hard case, Brazilwood bow with unbleached genuine Mongolian horsehair, rosin, bridge
- 1 Year Warranty Against Manufacturer’s Defects
- Remarkably affordable option for first-time students
Viola Gift Ideas
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D’Addario Ascenté Viola String Set – Medium Scale – Medium Tension – Synthetic Core – Expressive ToneD’Addario Prelude Viola String Set – Medium Scale – Medium Tension – Solid Steel Core – Warm ToneWOGOD Natural Rosin for Viola, Violin, Cello – Any Stringed Instrument – Horsehair or Synthetic Hair BowsFantastic Finger Guide for Violas – Fingerboard and Fretboard Stickers Help Students Build Knowledge of Notes