The viola is a musical instrument to string and arc with a phonic extension between that of the violin and that of the cello. Between the XVI and the XVII century, every instrument belonging to the family of the arcs had the generic name of viola. These were distinguished in two types:

-the arm violas, similar to the violin,
-leg violas, include the tenor, soprano, contralto, baritone, contrabass viola
-and the bastard viola, between the low and tenor.

Contralto of the bastard viola is the viola of love, that possesses a varying number of strings (from 5 a7) support on the ponticello and a second series of strings (from 7 to 14) brims on the soundbox and tune in unison with the first. The modern viola introduces a rather limited literature, but in the contemporary music are important the elegant pages of R. Strauss and P. Hindemith.

leg viola

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