Difference Between the Violin and Viola

What’s the Difference Between the Violin and Viola??

violin and viola

A very common question is, “what is the difference between the violin and viola?”  Well you came to the right place to get the true answer.  You won’t find any jokes or puns about violists here, just the facts.

Violin:

violin and viola

  • A violin is the smallest instrument in the String Family of orchestra instruments and has a “soprano voice”
  • A violin has four strings which are E, A D, and G
  • The lowest note that a violin can play is a G bellow middle C (meaning middle C on the Piano)
  • Violins come in fractional sizes as well as the most common 4/4 (full) size
  • The fractional sizes that are available for Violins are 1/64, 1/32, 1/16, 1/10, 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, or 3/4

Viola:

violin and viola

  • A viola is a little bit bigger then the violin and has an “alto voice”.  It is the next in line after the violin in the String Family of orchestral instruments.
  • A viola has four strings which are A, D, G and C (the A, D and G are in the same octave as the A, D, and G on the violin)
  • A viola does not have an E string (and a violin does not have a C string)
  • The lowest note that a Viola can play is C one octave bellow middle C (meaning middle C on the Piano)
  • Violas are measured in inches instead of fractions
  • Violas are available in 14″, 15″, 15.5″, 16″, 16.5″ and 17″

We hope this answered your questions about the difference between a violin and a viola.  Check out our pages about the parts of the violin, the parts of the viola and the parts of the cello.

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