Trying to decide between violin and viola? Both instruments are great, but knowing their similarities and differences can help guide you in the decision making process.
Both instruments physically look the same. The viola can be the same size as a violin but is often larger. They are played similarly in that they are placed on the shoulder, under the neck and are bowed. The violin and viola also sound a little different. They share 3 of the same strings (A-D-G). The violin also has a high E string while the viola has a low C string. The violin has a bright, brilliant sound that facilitates fast, virtuosic passages. On the other hand, the viola has a mellow and warm sound that can create beautiful melodies and harmonies.
There are typically twice as many violins in an orchestra than violas and they often play the main melody or tune. Violas serve more of a supportive role in orchestra and chamber music and play harmonies and rhythms that enhance the melody. Most Cities have several orchestral and chamber music opportunities for young people, so you are sure to have a great experience no matter which instrument you choose!