My name is Evie and I blog at “A Period Drama Fangirl”, I am very excited today because my friend (the owner of this blog) Ashley invited me to do a guest post. Of course I eagerly accepted, so thanks for having me Ashley! ☺
Today’s post will be on the viola as I personally think that the Viola is a very underrated instrument that deserves some love. So I am writing this post to hopefully raise awareness about this lovely instrument.
I have been playing the viola for 10 years (since I was 7) and I think it has the most beautiful tonal quality. The Viola also has the ability to have the melody (but that is rare) and often provides the lower register notes to provide the much needed sound that is present in an orchestra.
Those are the four strings that are on a viola... so basically the most common question I am asked is "What exactly is a viola?"
Nope, it’s a completely different instrument!
You know this ^ diagram is sadly true, which makes me sad ☹
To answer your question, as much as I hate saying it. The viola is like a big violin.. what I mean by a big violin is that it is played like a violin but has the same strings of a cello. It is also larger in size.. and is often much more heavy. Another difference is that it is an octave (8 notes for non musical people ☺) lower than a violin and an octave higher than a cello. Now that’s pretty cool! Because it means we can sound a little like a violin but that causes violists to freak out when we see this
See the size difference... violin on left and viola on right..
That is a viola! see what I mean when I say it is bigger...
One of the downsides to being a viola player is the number of viola jokes that we receive. It seems that there are more viola jokes than any other instrument. This is a shame because without violas the worlds would be a sad place.. you really need some violas in your life!
Next point, no offense to any Violin players out there but I have been the victim of having 3rd Violins playing with me.. for me I really don't enjoy my part written out so that other instruments can play it. Sadly at many schools I have visited it has been the case as people do not know what a Viola is or they only have the option to play the violin.. nothing against violins! I know some amazing Violinst’s!
Violas are an awesome instrument when it comes to auditions.. since there are not many of us out there, it really is a good platform for getting into ensembles and groups.
But one of my biggest problems is finding sheet music for the viola. I mean seriously... there is so much free sheet music for violins out there and you search some for violas and it's a much more condensed version...
If you play in an orchestra, you will be deafened
Unlike the violins, cellos and basses on either side, the violas bear the brunt of most of the brass section. Fortunately the woodwind section forms something of a spit-barrier. But the noise is still horrendous.
And then there is the matter of the violists getting the tune... you don’t want that… mass panic ensures!
Thanks again Ashley and remember to be very nice to your viola buddies! ☺
Thanks Evie for this interesting post! The viola sounds awesome!!! Be sure to go check out her blog :D