Difference Between Violin & Viola

Violin and viola are both stringed musical instruments that are typically played using a bow. They are similar in appearance, but there are some key differences between the two.

Key Takeaways

  • Violins are smaller in size than violas.
  • Viola strings are thicker and longer than violin strings.
  • Violins produce a higher tone, while violas have a lower tone.

The violin, often called a fiddle, has an hourglass shape and a body length of around 35 centimeters. Its strings are arranged from lowest to highest: G, D, A, and E. The viola, on the other hand, is larger with a body length ranging between 40 to 43 centimeters. Its strings are arranged from lowest to highest: C, G, D, and A. The thicker and longer strings of the viola contribute to its lower tone.

Though they may appear similar, the differences between the violin and viola include their size, strings, and tone. The viola is larger and has thicker, longer strings, which produce a lower tone than the smaller violin with its shorter strings. Both instruments share the G, D, and A strings, but the violin has an E string, while the viola has a C string. The body length of the viola is also longer than that of the violin. Remember that smaller instruments generally produce higher tones than larger ones.

Dmitri Ivanov
Dmitri Ivanovhttps://whats-different.com
Dmitri Ivanov, a writer and managing editor, was educated in Canada and holds a BS in Science. Dmitri loves doing research, writing, and teaching various courses.


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