You play viola? What’s a viola? Is that a cello?


Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce the viola (pictured right).  It is a wonderful instrument given to mankind by God to assist with harmonies that other string instruments can’t produce.  It is not a violin, it is not a cello.  It is a viola.  Let me explain.

The viola looks a violin.  Yes.  It looks like a cello.  Yes.  BUT it does not sound like a violin, nor does it sound like a cello.  It’s right in between.  However, really good violas can possibly sound like cellos (but there’s a distinct difference).  Violas are bigger than violins, deeper in tone, and they don’t have an e-string (the smallest string to the far right of the violin).  Instead they have a c-string, which is located on the far left side of the viola (or the string with the red thread tied around the bottom).  Violas vary in size more than violins; the bigger the viola, the deeper the tone.  Naturally, having long fingers and/or big hands is a plus when playing viola.  I, unfortunately, have neither yet I still play this wonderful instrument.

I love the viola because it has a warm tone that makes me feel absolutely happy.  It’s not the best solo instrument, but even so it sounds beautiful when played alone.  I may be a bit biased because I’ve been playing viola for quite a while (I didn’t start on violin), but I like the violin and cello too in their own way.  Viola isn’t a common instrument, so I don’t get upset when someone asks me what a viola is.  The tedious part is trying to explain what it is.

Do I still play? Yes.  Sometimes.  I don’t play as often because I don’t want to get tendonitis.  Being a 4’11” female with small hands and fingers, tendonitis will come to me faster than other players.  I may have to switch over to violin for a while, but I don’t mind.  Well, maybe a little bit.  That e-string…

Want to hear?

I will probably never sound this good…




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