top of page

Music Instrument History Viola

Music Instrument History

Jacklyn Dougherty

Music Instrument History Viola
Music Instrument History Viola

A viola is a musical instrument that is strung, bowed and played using various ways. A viola is a multifaceted instrument used in multiple musical genres such as; solo performances, orchestral music and jazz. The viola originated in Italy during the 16th century and was initially used for court music. It was originally developed as a large version of the violin. It has a deep sound suitable for vocal support (Byrne, 2022). Over time, however, the viola advanced into an independent solo instrument used in various musical genres.

Like all stringed instruments, the viola comprises various parts such as the body, neck and strings. The viola's body typically consists of a single piece of wood, such as maple or spruce, carved and molded to make the instrument's characteristic curved shape. The neck is attached to the body and features a fingerboard to hold down the strings. The strings themselves are usually made of gut or steel and are strung across the body of the instrument (Hesabi, 2019). The viola was mainly used by musicians in European court music during the Renaissance era. However, it has become a popular instrument among composers and musicians of all genres over time.

The viola played a vital role in the culture and development of Western classical music, especially during the Baroque and Classical eras. It played a significant role in vocal harmony and enrichment in music (Howard, 2022). It was also used as a solo instrument in concerts and chamber music. The viola's rich and unique tone adds intensity and complexity to musical compositions. This played a significant role in its establishment as a versatile and essential instrument in Western classical music.

In conclusion, the viola originated in Italy in the 16th century and has been an essential part of Western classical music. It was an important musical instrument to musicians as it helped them enrich their music up to date.


Byrne, L. (2022). Playing With the Viola da Gamba (Doctoral dissertation, Guildhall School of Music and Drama).

Hesabi Amnieh, K. (2019). Viola from Iran: Continuing and expanding the trajectory of rich cultural history. (Doctoral dissertation).

Howard, K. (2022). Musical instruments are a tangible cultural heritage and an/for intangible cultural heritage. International Journal of Cultural Property, 29(1), 23-44.

Violin and Piano School Florida.  Zoom, Online and In Person Orlando Florida
Be the first to know!

Thanks for subscribing!

Learn More

Click the name to learn more 

bottom of page