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What makes the difference between a viola and a violin? 
 

What makes the difference between a viola and a violin?

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What makes the difference between a viola and a violin?    18:43 on Thursday, January 14, 2010 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

brbpab94
(3 points)

What makes the difference between a viola and a violin?Is it inches If so what would they be?My son is 13 and taken the viola and I wanted to know what I would be looking for?His teacher said if it was just to get out of the rental cost I could just buy a full size violin and restring it?Is that true?Basicly Can anyone tell me the difference besides size because to tell you the truth there's not much of a differnce.To me it would be like the difference between a sorprano ukulele and a concert ukulele,it's only about an inch.

Thanks in advance
Brian

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Re: What makes the difference between a viola and a violin?    19:56 on Monday, February 15, 2010 Vote for this post Vote against this post 1 vote

AmateurComposer
(85 points)

I am not qualified to argue with a presumably professional music teacher, but, I believe, I am allowed to quote from a book written by a professional who disagrees with your son's teacher.

In his book "Orchestration," Cecil Forsyth writes: "The Viola is not merely 'a big violin.' It is a Viola." He proceeds to say that the instrument is not as big as it should be because "its size by no means corresponds to the increased depth of pitch." The size of the viola is a trade off for playability, since the correct acoustic size is too small to play the instrument like a cello and too large to play it like a violin.

Watching the instrument it looks to me to be longer, wider, and thicker that the violin.

Maybe your son's teacher believes that a violin with viola stings is good enough to train a beginner. I am nor ready to argue for or against this concept, even though I find it weird.






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Re: What makes the difference between a viola and a violin?    21:55 on Monday, February 15, 2010 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes
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Re: What makes the difference between a viola and a violin?    02:03 on Friday, February 26, 2010 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

AbViCh
(1 point)

Hi, I'm 15, at high school, and i recently switched from playing the violin to the viola.

At first I thought that there wasnt much of a difference but they are more different than I first presumed. Firstly, the viola is in alto cleff and not trebble cleff and focuses more on the lower strings than the higher ones. It is slightly bigger and heavier and the shape is just a tad different. Three of the strings are the same for he violin and the viola (the A, D and G string) but whereas the violin had the high-pitched E-string the viola has the low pitched C-string.

When I first swapped I kept my violin (which was full sized) and had it re strung as a viola and put on a C-sring (viola half size since the viola is bigger). It was good at first because I was able to get used to the viola and make sure I liked it before going out and buying one. (It would have sucked if I bought a viola only to realise I didnt like it). Also, since the finger board on the viola is longer, the spaces between the fingers are larger and since I started on a violin with viola strings I didnt have to worry about this at first which made my transition much easier.

But, however, a full sized violin re-strung as a viola is only really a short term option. The actual instrument of the viola has a deeper, richer sound that resonates more and I think it is one of the most wonderful things. It's the main reason I swapped

Anyway, hope that helped

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Re: What makes the difference between a viola and a violin?    07:19 on Friday, February 26, 2010 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

brbpab94
(3 points)

Thamks alot That was very helpful.But as a person looking to buy one for a bargain I was woundering Measurements?Scale length?From bridge to nut?

Thanks Brian

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Re: What makes the difference between a viola and a violin?    05:46 on Sunday, May 16, 2010 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Quinno
(1 point)

i'm 17 and been playing the viola for 2 years and now in the Australian Youth Orchestra and i think it's great your son wants to take up viola. Your son is 13 right? I would suggest a 16 inch andreas eastman model. they are made in china in large quantities but they have a good rich, deep clear tone that screams viola. if your son is considering going into an orchestra he should find it will bring a good career, violists are a rare and desirable breed!

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Re: What makes the difference between a viola and a violin?    21:33 on Monday, May 17, 2010 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

doggirl98
(1 point)

Well I play the viola and one thing is that they both have different strings and there both different sizes.

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Re: What makes the difference between a viola and a violin?    04:31 on Sunday, June 20, 2010 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Scotch
(591 points)

The viola range, in terms of open strings, is a perfect fifth below that of the violin. The violin strings are tuned G, D, A, E, and the viola's strings are tuned C, G, D, A.

The sizes of the violin and cello are standardized (although smaller violins and cellos are made for children), but violas for adults come in various sizes.

The viola is more resonant than the violin (but not as resonant as the cello), and because of the problem Forsyth notes (the viola if it were the proper size for its tuned range would be too big to play under the violists neck like a viola yet still too small to play resting on the floor like a cello), it has a slightly nasal sound, rather similar in a way to the sound of an oboe. The larger the viola, the more resonant and the less nasal.

Because the viola is larger than a violin, its fingered range is more restricted; it cannot be played comparably as high. This is not true of the cello because the cellist's fingering hand does not need to support the instrument so that in the higher range the cellist can lift his thumb from behind the neck of the instrument and bring the whole hand as far along the fingerboard as it needs to go.

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Re: What makes the difference between a viola and a violin?    04:40 on Sunday, June 20, 2010 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

Scotch
(591 points)

Continuing: I can think of only two reasons to restring a violin to make it pretend to be a viola: 1) You already own a violin and don't already own a viola or 2) your hands (or, in your case, your son's hands) are too small to play a viola. If neither of these are so, just buy a rent an actual viola.

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Re: What makes the difference between a viola and a violin?    15:11 on Monday, August 09, 2010 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

PhilOShite
(150 points)

As some one who has tried, it doesn't really work. Try it to see whether you can cope with the clef and change of fingering. But really you will need a proper one very soon. They are not that dear to be honest. I was given a skylark (the cheap chineese make at the time) under similar circumstances and I still use it. Admitedly I prefer the violin and the viola is just there for when one is needed, and jolly useful it is too. Mine was bought from a proper violin shop who sorted some dodgy workmansip in the pegbox and changed the bridge and soundpost. If you decide to change rather than double then undoubtedly you will want better, but the cheap one will do for starters.

   

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