What's the difference between a Viiolin and a ViolaWatch
i meant the instruments
one is small
Isn't there a difference in pitch or sound?
is that it?
Isn't there a difference in pitch or sound?
on the violin. (The other strings have the same notes.) The viola has a
Just as in a choir you have various
"voices", so in an orchestra - each voice is an essential part to the
"whole picture!" The viola is the "alto" voice of the string section -
a critical voice, but, unfortunately, not always the melodic or more
interesting part of the overall arrangement. I have seen efforts by
many arrangers to give the viola section more interesting parts in
recent times - and that's a step in the right direction!
Appearance-wise, the violin and viola look very much the same -
particularly at the student level, where younger children can get
these instruments in various sizes (sad to say, smaller children are
often given a violin which has been restrung as a viola in their early
years of training!) They are played with essentially the same
technique (yes - both under the chin!), but the major differences are
that, although they have 3 of the 4 strings in common, the violin has
one "higher" string - where the viola has one "lower" string. This is
what gives them their "soprano vs. alto" voices (as well as the
viola's body being a bit larger) The "clef signs" they read
distinguish them as well - the violin reads "treble clef", where the
viola reads "alto clef" (the ONLY instrument that uses this clef - by
the way!) and also treble clef in the higher ranges.
The Viola and Violists
by David Dalton
The viola is the middle-range instrument of the violin family. It is sometimes cavalierly referred to as the "big fiddle." Its position in the violin family somewhat parallels the alto voice of the normal SATB (soprano, alto, tenor, bass) arrangement in a choir of voices, the alto being just below the soprano range. In fact, the French word for viola is l'alto. As do other members of the violin family‹violin, cello, contrabass‹the viola has four strings, the lowest of which descends at an interval of a fifth below that of the violin.
The viola is played with a bow and placed on the shoulder, as is the violin, in contrast to the cello, which is placed between the player's legs. In German the viola is the Bratsche, which comes from the Italian braccio, meaning "arm," or to be played on the arm in contrast with being played on the leg. The etymology of the word viola, or viola da braccio, leads some historians to believe that when the violin family emerged as an entity in Italy during the early part of the sixteenth century, the viola may have appeared slightly before the violin, violino being a diminutive form of viola. Violists often like to think that they may indeed have been at the head of the family, at least historically.
Much has been conjectured and written about the historical and musical reasons for the viola's subservient position before the twentieth century to the more brilliant violin and powerful cello. Cecil Forsyth, in his widely used book, Orchestration (London; Macmillan, 1914), takes an over-the-shoulder glance at the viola's and violists's comparative humble station in musical life:
The viola has perhaps suffered the ups and downs of musical
treatment more than any other stringed-instrument. In the
late sixteenth and early seventeenth century it held much the
same position in the orchestra that the 1st and 2nd violins
occupy today. The violin with its higher pitch and its more
exquisite tone-colour, was continually `knocking at the
door,' and the viola found itself servant where once it had
Forsyth invites the reader to examine scores representative of the post-Bach, or early classic period, and, here, in a rather hyperbolic review of the situation, he writes:
[Here] we feel that the viola is often merely a source of
anxiety to the composer. We feel that he must have regarded
its existence as something in the nature of a prehistoric
survival. The instrument was there and had to be written
for. Interesting but subordinate contrapuntal middle-parts
were, however, still a thing of the future. The viola,
therefore, either did nothing or something which by the
ingenuity of the composer was made to appear as much like
nothing as possible. If all else failed it could always play
the bass, and, though this often resulted in an unnecessary
and uncomfortable three-octave-bass, it was better than
filling the part with rests."
. . . a betwixt-and-between instrument imperfect in
construction, "difficult" and somewhat uneven in
tone-quality, and undeniably clumsy to manage. The viola
more than any other stringed instrument is liable to have
some one or two wolf notes in its compass. In fact very few
violas are wholly free from this defect. The opposite
disease, commonly known as sleep, seems to affect it less.
Perhaps its constitution, inured for centuries to sleepy
passages, has by now become immune to the microbe of sleeping
We can wonder to how many inadequately prepared violists Forsyth was subjected during his lifetime when he remarks:
[The top string's] quality has something nasal and piercing;
something suffering, even unpleasant. A prominent melody on
this string becomes unbearable after a short time.
He offers the listener some hope, however, when the viola is played on its two middle strings.
[They] are at once the least characteristic and the most
sympathetic. Lacking the piercing unhappy quality of the
top-string, they combine well with almost anything in the
orchestra . . . . It is on these two strings that the viola
does most of the accompanying and filling-up work, to which a
great part of its existence is devoted.
And finally, the reward for any who would wish to hear a viola:
The bottom-string of the viola is the most characteristic of
all. In fact, to the average concert-goer the viola is only
a viola when it is on its bottom-string. "Somber, austere,
sometimes even forbidding," its mere sound, even in the
simplest phrases, is sufficient to conjure up the image of
thanks for that mate. Now i've finished that homework
Can someone help me here. Its for my homework and i need to know the difference between a violin and a viola
no probs, just make sure you get an A.
The reason i said try was because we dont get A B C or anything in our school because im only year 7
They're both crap compared to the mighty 'cello