The viola – considering its size and tuning – is the closest relative of the violin in the family of the string instruments. Its voice is a fifth deeper, its body 4–10 cm bigger, but contrary to the cello and the bass, their way of playing is the same.
During the last centuries the role of the viola was mostly limited to perfect the harmony of the compositions; it was rarely used as a solo instrument. From the beginning of the twentieth century more and more composer got interested in viola as a solo instrument, therefore more and more compositions and concertos made richer the literature of the instrument.
The tuning of the viola
violin and viola