What Is The Difference Between Violin And Viola?

Some of the popular musical instruments are violin and viola and both of them are from the same family. Musical instruments have been accompanied the human since ancient times. For the students of music, it is easy to differentiate violin and viola but most of them can’t differentiate them due to their resemblance in size and appearance.

But keep in mind that both the instruments have different use and if you are curious to know about them then in this article, we will describe briefly about the violin and viola and the difference between them, so read the complete article.



It is one of the main instruments in an orchestra also known as the fiddle. It was invented in the 16th century, in the Italy. It is from the string family and the highest pitch among them. It has four strings and the lowest note of a violin is G, while the highest is E. The other two strings are D and A.

The violin is available in different sizes, depending on how much height do ho you have. Children usually start playing with 1/4 or 2/4 size. Teenagers and adults can use the full-size instrument (4/4). The body length of violin with 4/4 size is almost 356 mm which is about 14 inches. Apart from the standard size, violins are also available in fractional sizes of ​ 7⁄8,​3⁄4, ​1⁄2, ​1⁄4, ​1⁄8, ​1⁄10, ​1⁄16, ​1⁄32 and even ​1⁄64.



The viola also belongs to the string family. However, it has a slightly larger size than the violin and generates deeper sounds. A musician that plays the viola is called as a violist or viola. Violas were sprouted long before violins and the first was known as viola da gamba. The need for more powerful sound than that of the double bass for the music bands leads to the invention of it.

Just like a violin, they also have four strings but the notes are different than the violin. The lowest note of the viola is C, the highest is A and the remaining two are G and D. Violas are a little bit bigger than violins, a full-size viola is 40cm or about 16 inches.

Main Differences

main differences between violin and viola

  • Although, both have similarities in appearance yet they have different use in orchestra. Solo parts are done by the violins and violas are used for accompaniment.
  • Violins are smaller in size than violas because they have a higher pitch and doesn’t need a resonance box as big as instruments that have deeper sounds.

I hope you liked my post about the difference between these two instruments and if you have any query or want to give suggestions then write it down in the comments section. For more articles of your interest, you may visit Education category at TryArticles.

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