Finding my “musical match” in a viola has become a very drawn-out quest. Unfortunately, I have to weigh out my budget constraints (of course), with my own physical limitations – which have compounded with a diagnosis of scoliosis… Meaning, I simply can’t play the most big and resonant violas I can lay my hands upon. It’s one thing to not be able to reach the tuning pegs, it entirely different to know that my jankety old back simply won’t stand for it and promises to get crankier in the future. After flying out many violas (which were all very finely made and very beautiful but for whatever reason couldn’t quite work out), I have come up with some measurements for what I am looking for.
Wanted: Dream Viola for me
Qualities: clear, dark, nuanced sound
Back length: slightly less than 405mm (but with a mighty sound!)
Lower bout: 250mm (or possibly wider, for as deep and and rich a sound as possible)
Upper bout: less than 190mm
String length: preferably less than 375mm
Weight: as light weight as possible, ideally less than 600 grams
Neck: delicate and slender nearly as a violin’s
I realize that I am searching for a needle in a haystack, so if you know of a viola out there for me, please get in touch!