What is viola?

The viola is a musical instrument with strings played with a bow. It is an instrument similar to the violin, but larger and capable of producing sounds of lower tones.

Emerged in the 14th century, the viola has four strings tuned in fifths. The most severe rope makes and follows the sun, the fire and the . It should be noted that the viola’s range is located between the bass sounds of the violin and the treble that a cello can generate. Throughout history, different types of viola have been created, with different numbers of strings and particular characteristics. In this sense, it can be called viola de amor (composed of fourteen strings, although only seven are played), viola da gamba (six strings tuned by fourths), viola de arco (traditional in medieval music), viola da braccio (it is played supported on the shoulder or chest), the viola bastarda (also called the lira viola) and the viola pomposa (with five strings).

George Philipp Telemann was the creator of the first viola concerto, performed in 1731. Soon after, many composers contributed their creations, such as Carl Friedrich Zelter, Franz Anton Hoffmeister, Johann Stamitz, Lionel Tertis, Johann Christian Bach and Johannes Brahms. Among the main contemporary violists stand out the American Joseph de Pasquale, the German Tabea Zimmermann, the French Gérard Caussé, the Japanese Nobuko Imai and the Swiss (born in Belarus) Viacheslav Dinerchtein. Like the violin, cello and double bass, the viola is an instrument capable of producing sounds of great beauty, but it requires a lot of dedication to learn to play it, in addition to great motor skills and deep musical perception. Among the difficulties that the viola presents is the fact that it is not a tempered instrument, that is, it does not simply have the twelve sounds found in an octave according to the discoveries of JS Bach, who gave rise to the Tempered System. . Unlike tempered instruments, among which we find the piano, those with strings with frets (like the guitar) and those with pistons or keys (like the trumpet and clarinet), the viola requires the musician to find the different sounds and memorize them. the position of each of them, since the tuning directly depends on the point at which we press each string. This makes the first stage of learning very difficult, both for the student and their environment, as they must endure very out-of-tune, high-pitched sounds for weeks.

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Among the most important parts of the viola are the following: * the body: it is the largest, as it represents almost the entire instrument. Traditionally, it is made of wood; * chin guard: an oval piece of plastic or wood on which the musician rests his chin; * end : it is close to the previous one and is one of the two ends to which the threads cling; * the pins: where the strings are wound, with different degrees of tension to achieve the desired tuning; * bridge : it is usually a lighter color than the rest of the pieces, and serves to hold the wires close to the pins. The word viola, on the other hand, also corresponds to the conjugation of the verb «violar» in the second person of the singular, in the Present tense of the Indicative mood: it is the viola. With respect to this verb, its meaning is broad, and it can be understood as: infringing a treaty, a promise, a precept or a law; to maintain sexual relationships with a person against her will, if she is conscious or unconscious; desecrate a sacred site. It is worth mentioning that “violar” can also be a noun, and in this case it means “a place where violets are planted”.

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