As a new violin-to-viola transfer, I found myself in need of an instrument. In my month-long search for a 16-16.5 inch viola (which is nearing it's end!) I noticed something interesting. Most of the instruments offered to me seemed to be made in the past 20-30 years. Recalling my violin search many years ago, I remember trying instruments from a whole range of periods, 1800's to the present. However, out of the 30 or so violas I have tried, only two or three of them were made before 1980 (no, my viola price range is not significantly below my violin price range--quite easily the opposite)
The purpose of this thread is by no means to create yet another debate on new vs. old instruments (although the two finalists of my search are one new and one old...) but simply to wonder: why are there so many old violins, but so few old violas? Is it just simply a result of fewer instruments made, and therefore fewer survivors of time, or are there some nefarious anti-viola forces afoot? ;)
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