Making Matters: Finding the best-fitting viola


While the violin form is pretty much standardised, violas exist in all kinds of sizes and patterns. Chris Sandvoss offers some pointers to find the instrument most suited to the player

The Strad ’s September 2021 issue contained an article by William Castle (‘Size does matter’) on finding the perfect-sized viola for a player. It drew attention, in a very thorough manner, to the delicacies of variations and their effect on playability from an ergonomic and tonal standpoint. Inspired by this, I would now like to share a few thoughts on the relationship of body outline, arching height and rib depth in viola design, as the variances therein are exaggerated throughout the wide range of models and sizes…

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