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The Viola

French: alto, German: Bratsche

The viola (pronounced /vɪˈoʊlə/ or /vaɪˈoʊlə/[1]) is a bowed string instrument. It is the middle voice of the violin family, between the violin and the cello.

The casual observer may mistake the viola for the violin because of their similarity in size, closeness in pitch range (the viola is a perfect fifth below the violin), and nearly identical playing position. However, the viola's timbre sets it apart: its rich, dark-toned sonority is more full-bodied than the violin's. The viola's mellow voice being frequently used for playing inner harmonies, it does not enjoy the wide solo repertoire or fame of the violin. The viola is the only instrument in the world to use the alto clef.


The viola has 4 strings: A, D, G, and C.

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