FORUM

A A A
Avatar
Please consider registering
guest
sp_LogInOut Log In sp_Registration Register
Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search
Forum Scope




Match



Forum Options



Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters
sp_Feed Topic RSS sp_TopicIcon
The Viola in the Orchestra
by Sarah Harris, Viola teacher
Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 (0 votes) 
Avatar
Barry Nelson
Nashville,Tennessee
August 13, 2014 - 4:49 am
Member Since: October 31, 2011
Forum Posts: 299
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

The viola's tone is thicker and darker than the violin which makes it perfect for providing resonant solo passages in the middle of the orchestral range and the perfect antidote to the penetrating, crystal quality of the violin. It also blends particularly well with the clarinet and bassoon.

Traditionally the viola was used in uninteresting ways simply to fill in the harmonies between the expressive cello and violin parts, but this is no longer the case. Violas can be every bit as agile as the other Strings and since the 19th century viola writing has just as demanding as that for the other string instruments.

The viola is the alto voice of the String family. It is larger than the violin, and its lowest note is a perfect 5th lower than the violin. A typical symphony orchestra will have twelve violas seated two to a desk for a large orchestral work.

The viola looks like a large violin and in terms of its construction it is more or less the same. In common with all string instruments, there are no fixed dimensions for a viola and both players and makers will have their own preferences. The 'bigness' of the sound produced has much more to do with the woods and varnish used than the actual size of the instrument (the player makes quite a difference too!). Different types of wood such as sycamore, spruce and maple are carefully selected for their grain and density.

One of the most important factors in determining the sound quality of the instrument is the varnish, which at first comes as a surprise to many people. The reason the varnish is so important is that it covers the entire exterior of the instrument, bonds with the surface of the wood and it is from this shiny surface that the sound of the instrument resonates. So the quality of the varnish can greatly affect the way the instrument resonates.

Bach : As the greatest expert and judge of harmony, he liked best to play the viola, with appropriate loudness and softness

Avatar
coolpinkone
Regular Member
Members

Regulars
August 13, 2014 - 4:33 pm
Member Since: August 6, 2014
Forum Posts: 55
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Very cool article. It's all about the varnish and the player! ;)

Forum Timezone: America/New_York
Most Users Ever Online: 134
Currently Online:
Guest(s) 5
Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)
Members Birthdays
sp_BirthdayIcon
Today None
Upcoming None
Top Posters:
HeadCheese: 355
Ripton: 138
Ferret: 119
Manny: 66
VinceKnight: 60
JohnG: 56
Member Stats:
Guest Posters: 0
Members: 54051
Moderators: 0
Admins: 3
Forum Stats:
Groups: 13
Forums: 45
Topics: 359
Posts: 1984
Newest Members:
Walterscece, bucherars, glime, ChrisBoura, Zakazlocky, Raymond2402hic
Administrators: Violaman: 541, BillyG: 81, Mouse: 270