What is a Viola ?

My daughter who is in grade 10 asked me what is a viola . Honestly, I really don’t know what the word means so she went to his father who is a musician and ask him. Then I learned that a viola is a musical instrument with four strings and a bow and is the second biggest member of the string or violin family.

Actually is it known as the alto or tenor violin. It looks like a violin with a wooden soundbody, f shaped soundholes, fingerboard, four strings stretched along the fingerboard by tuning pegs on one end, over a supporting wooden bridge to a tailpiece on the soundbody at the other end of the soundbody. It is played in the same way as the violin, that is, a violist moves the bow over the string (s) with the right hand and presses the the fingers down on the strings with the left hand to alter the string length and hence the notes. Or it is plucked, to form an effect called pizzicato. However it is bigger and sounds deeper, more mellow and less penetrating than the violin. In fact it is twenty nine inches long and six inches longer than the violin.

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