5 Differences between the Violin and the Viola
The violin and the viola might look so alike, that you might be wondering what the differences are between the two…
In this episode of Violin Lounge TV I explain 5 differences between the violin and the viola:
#1 The viola sounds lower
It’s tuned a fifth lower than the violin and an octave higher than the cello. The viola is tuned CGDA and the violin is tuned GDAE. The G, D and A strings are the same pitch, but do have a different sound color.
#2 The viola and the viola sound different
A viola sounds warmer and darker, while the violin is more like a bright and clear sounding soprano.
#3 Violists and violinists read in different cleffs
The violin cleff indicates the G and the viola cleff indicates the C. The viola reads seven notes higher.
#4 The role in the orchestra is different
The viola is more like a middle voice and has less solos. This is comparable to the second violin. The first violin has a bit more solos and is the soprano voice.
#5 The playing technique is slightly different
As the viola is bigger and lower instrument, one needs more weight to make a full sound.
Bonus difference #6 The bow is a bit different
The viola bow has a rounded edge on the frog and is a bit heavier. The violin bow has a squared edge on the frog and is a bit lighter.
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This video won’t play. I normally don’t have any problem. I am enjoying violin lounge. I am mature beginner at Viola. I would like to look at joining the academy but it says closed on the website. Will it be open for enrollment soon?
Hmm… strange the video doesn’t play. Could you please try again and see that you are not clicking on the banner (above the page), but on the actual embedded video more in the middle of the blog post? Please let me know if it works. If not, please also let me know, so I can solve it for you and other visitors.
What’s the difference between viola GDA and violin GDA? Just the length?
The length, but also the sound color is different.
Understandable. Are viola GDA thicker than violin GDA for the heavier bow?
They are heavier because of the string length and therefore the bow is heavier.
I am the owner of Dots Music Shop in Camden, London, and I’d like to post your five differences between Violins and Violas on our website: dotsmusiccamden.co.uk.
I am happy to cite your name and reference this page.
Thank you. Madi @ Dots
You are most welcome to share my posts and videos as long as you mention my website with a clickable link. Thanks!