Instrument Family



Alto Clef

Modern Instrument Invented

Early to Mid-1500s

Fun Facts

  • A musician who plays the viola is commonly called a violist.
  • The viola is commonly mistaken as a violin. However, it is slightly larger than a violin and plays lower pitched notes.
  • The name of the viola originates from the Italian term viola da braccio which means “on the arm.”

Famous Orchestral Works Featuring the Viola

Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 6, Kodaly’s Hary Janos Suite, Movement III ‘Song’

Watch Columbus Symphony Principal Violist Karl Pedersen introduce the viola!

Hear Columbus Symphony Assistant Principal Violist Brett Allen play an orchestral excerpt!

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