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Violin size - or viola?
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MathildeDS
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January 11, 2013 - 9:15 pm
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How is a full size 4/4 violin defined by size? Are there strict measurements? How do I differentiate to a viola, as this instrument has a more flexible size range?

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VinceKnight
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January 11, 2013 - 10:57 pm
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A 4/4 Violin is the largest Violin and is typically considered the "Adult" Size.  However the length of a violin or viola for you is actually based on the length of your arm from your neck to your wrist or from the center of your neck to the center of your palm (Both measurements use your left arm if you are right handed and vice versa)

A 4/4 violin is also the same length as a 14" Viola.  Though Violas tend to be more "tailor" fit to the individual given the larger variety of sizes to choose from.

The best sizing diagram I have found is:

http://www.kkmusicstore.com/pa.....c151acb3ab

Though they did conveniently leave out the 16.5" Viola size which is what I use being 6'8"

As far as other nuances to size I can't personally help you but as far as figuring the general sizing out for you this method should work though others here may have something better.

-Dennis

The pack depends upon the wolf, and the wolf depends upon the pack. The loss of one means the destruction of the other.

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ozmous
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January 12, 2013 - 12:57 am
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a typical 4/4 violin is sized with 14", while a viola doesn't really have a "full size", there are 16", 15", 14", etc.

16" is generally considered as the full size...but there re larger than that, like a 17" or 18"....so there is no really definite full size for a viola,

the clear difference between a violin and viola besides the size are the strings, the viola is tuned lower than the violin....it is tuned CGDA, while the violin is tuned GDAE...

the bow's frog is also different from a violin, the viola bow's frog is somewhere the same as a cello's..it has a curvature at the end, it has a wider hair, the viola bow is also heavier than a violin's

a viola is played with c-clef, while the violin is played with the G-clef(treble).

cheers! - ⁰ℨ

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MathildeDS
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January 12, 2013 - 1:04 pm
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Thanks for 2 really helpful answers! So, the instrument I bought is 15.5" long but says 4/4 Suzuki inside on the label....is a mid-size viola?? When first trying to tune it, I promptly snapped 2 strings. Now I am using violin strings G, D, A, E which sounds alright, especially rich on G and D.

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VinceKnight
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January 12, 2013 - 8:56 pm
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@Mathilde I would say that a 15.5" Viola is still in the Full size range.  I would hazard to say that the mid sized Violas would probably run from 12.5" to 13.5" ish. Figuring anything under a 12.5" would definitely be considered small and anything 14" and up considered full size (This is only my opinion and is somewhat based on the fact that a 4/4 Violin, which is considered full size, is equal to a 14" Viola and seems like a good starting size for the scale) :)

Others on this site can probably give you a better account than I can :D

Also since you have a Viola are you also a member The sister site of Fiddlerman Violaman.com?

 

-Dennis

The pack depends upon the wolf, and the wolf depends upon the pack. The loss of one means the destruction of the other.

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MathildeDS
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January 12, 2013 - 9:17 pm
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I may have a viola now, but I did not intend to buy one, the problem being I cannot read music in c-clef, and I still struggle a lot with spreading my fingers for correct intonation. No, I am not a member of the sistersite, I would like to stick to trying to improve my violin playing without getting sidetracked to another instrument altogether.

 

Mathilde

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
January 13, 2013 - 8:55 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11717

Mathilde,
How are you measuring the instrument. Did you seriously buy a 4/4 violin and get a 15.5" viola?
If so you must return it.
The proper way to measure is to measure the round at the bottom, not including the end button, to the round at the top (of the instruments back) not including the protruding section for the neck. Just draw an imaginary line so that it cuts straight over form one side to the other.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
January 13, 2013 - 9:06 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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Measure_Your_Viola.jpgImage Enlarger

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"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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Kevin M.
Nicholson, Pa
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January 13, 2013 - 11:34 am
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the viola is also much thicker than a violin

 

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coolpinkone
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January 13, 2013 - 4:40 pm
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Oh Matilda... that is a bummer about the violin / viola mix up. What are your plans?  I agree with FM... if you ordered a violin you should return.  Good luck.... although for me ... it would be tempting to play the viola too.... (thanks alot you dark siders)

xo

Toni

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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MathildeDS
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January 13, 2013 - 6:56 pm
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Fiddlerman,

thanks for the drawing/image, yes, this is exactly how I measured it, and this distance is 15.5". And yes Kevin, now that you mention it, of course it feels thicker, and yes, I see now also that the frog is rounded.... I should have picked all those criteria up earlier, but did not. I will try for a return or exchange.

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