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The viola (/viˈlə/; ) is a string instrument that is bowed or played with varying techniques. It is slightly larger than a violin and has a lower and deeper sound. Since the 18th century, it has been the middle or alto voice of the violin family, between the violin (which is tuned a perfect fifth above) and the cello (which is tuned an octave below). The strings from low to high are typically tuned to C3, G3, D4, and A4.

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Viola cover of the popular Adele song. Impressive!

Contributed by Kathryn Vercillo

A short video about the differences between the violin and viola.

Contributed by Lexie Miller

Violin and Viola

A picture of the size difference between the violin and viola. The violin is on the top, the viola, the bottom.

Contributed by Lexie Miller

Violas are members of the string family of instruments, also including the violin, cello, and upright bass. Violas are often mistaken for violins, as they are both held the same way (under the chin) and are the same shape. You can distinguish a viola, however, by its size (usually 15-16" as compared to violins at around 14") and it's deeper sound. Violas share the same string tuning as cellos, CGDA (with C being the lowest and A being the highest) and are tuned in fourths. They read alto, or C clef, and are the only instrument to do so.

Contributed by Rosie Valentine

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