The viola is an important member of the orchestra, but is not often heard by itself. Because it is bigger than the violin, with longer strings, it makes a rich, warm sound that is lower in pitch. A viola is a little heavier, and its shape is slightly different too. It is played in the same manner as a violin.
The viola plays a beautiful “middle” part in the orchestra’s harmony. The violas can be hard to pick out when the orchestra is playing, but you would really miss the violas if they weren’t there.
The viola plays some of the same notes as a violin, but its low notes are a little lower than the violin, and without the same smallest string doesn’t play quite as high as a violin. A good viola has a dark and rich tone that sounds wonderful playing chords with violins above and cellos below it.
The body of the viola is made of wood and is hollow so it can vibrate to create sound. The shape of the body gives the viola its distinctive tone. The body of a viola is usually about 16 inches long.
Physically, the viola is made the same as the violin, containing the same parts that listed in the violin section.