As you read this, you might be asking yourself, "What the heck is a viola?" - "Did they spell violin wrong?" Could it be a violin that is missing its strings? Or maybe it's what happens when you cross a violin with a tuba? OK - Enough with the viola jokes already!
A viola is an instrument shaped like a violin but slightly larger. Like the violin, the viola is held under the chin. Its sound is lower and is best suited for harmonizing. While the violinist might be the "star of the show", the violist is often the "support network". Of course there are certainly instances and pieces where the roles are reversed, when comparing these two instruments. Yet, by and large, the violist plays the role as the trusty side-kick, always providing a warm and fuzzy backing to the melody. Consequently, the kinds of people who go into viola often tend to also be very nice =).
Here are five reasons to take viola lessons:
1. You love the sound of bowed strings but find that violins tend to sound a bit squeaky in the high register.
2. You have big hands and a larger frame, and find the viola more natural than the violin.
3. You don't like to be in the spotlight but love to be a team-player.
4. You will always be in much greater demand, since violinists are a dime-a-dozen!
5. That C string just makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside! (That's the lowest string which is missing on a violin).
Previous entries: August 2014
Our interview with Sarah Chang is one of more than two dozen in The Violinist.com Interviews: Volume 1, which also features talks with Joshua Bell, Maxim Vengerov, and David Garrett, as well as a foreword by Hilary Hahn.
Violinist.com editor Laurie Niles is in Indianapolis for our daily coverage of the ninth quadrennial international violin competition.
Daniel Broniatowski is from Watertown, Massachusetts. Biography
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