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Violas and viola accessories for all levels 

In Xavier Vidal i Roca we have a big stock of violas and accessories for all levels, adapting to violonist' needs and preferences. Also you can find violas, archs and baroque strings sections.

 

Viola as an instrument

Viola is the string instrument that is between the violin and the cello in terms of tonality. His distinctive sound could be defined as sweet and dark, bordering on the melancholic between the violin lows and the cello sharps. It consists of four strings which are tuned in fifths intervals in the notes C-D-G-A (most severely sharper). Physically, it is very similar to the violin, but differs in size, being the viola largest. Violist acquires a position to play completely equal to the violinist, holding the instrument horizontally and supporting it under the chin while using the bow with the opposite hand.

 

Viola History

This instrument was born as an evolution of the string viella in the XIV century. But it began to have artistic relevance into the next century. Over the time, history has been providing us different types of violas that differ from each other, for example, in the number of strings and other factors. We can then talk about the viola da gamba, which is similarly played like the cello, the viola da braccio, which is the most similar to the modern one and which also derives the viola d'amore. We also found other variants such as the viola pompous, five strings, or the bastard, which is also called lira viola. In these instruments we can see the evolution of the traditional opening in the middle of the soundboard, like the lute and the guitar, to a lateral C-shaped openings as we know them today. Also, the lateral cutting of the instrument derivate accentuating the curvature in order to facilitate the movement of the arc.

The viola as we know it today arose between the XVI and XVII centuries. Although at the beginning viola only was used to complete the harmony and bass, it was taking more important role in the XVIII century, when composers such as Bach and Telemann highlighted it in them works. This triggered a golden age for this instrument during the following decades. But were composers like Tertis, Hindemith, Borisovski and Primrose those who gave the solo viola value and excellent instrument. Currently, there are prominent violists as Joseph de Pasquale, Gérard Caussé, Viacheslay Dinerchtein, Tabea Zimmermann and Nobuko Imai.

 

Viola parts

Viola follows the pattern of the string instruments family. It consists of a soundboard, which is based on a top cover and a bottom cover closed by two wooden ribs on the side, a mast, which supports a fingerboard and nut, and a peg box that finishes off the instrument.

The soundboard is responsible for vibrating the air inside thanks to the vibration that arrives from the bridge, amplifying the sound. Inside the box awaits the sound post, a cylinder that is held by the pressure of the strings and the bridge transmitting vibrations to the other cover and keeping a lid securing the vaults. In the same way, we also find inside the box a fixed long part on the top cover called Bass-bar that sits just under the 4th string.

Located between the two F shaped openings on the upper cover we find the bridge. This will give us a better or worse transmission of vibrations to the box depending on its cut and quality. The four strings are arranged from the tailpiece to the peg box. In order to tune the strings, we moderate their tension by the pegs, and it is also normal the use of afinaprimas subject to the tailpiece to obtain a perfect sound by applying more pressure on the string itself.

 

Materials

The materials used for the construction of the viola are usually European red pine wood for the top cover and European maple wood for the bottom cover, ribs and bridge. Sometimes are also used as alternative materials the populus alba (poplar) and willow.

 

Accessories

During the execution of the viola, the musicians require different needs that through supplements for the instrument will make it easier and will improve their performance. A key factor for playing any instrument is comfort, since exposing the body long time in an uncomfortable will reduce the efficiency.

Shoulders rest and chinrest are pieces designed to provide comfort to the violist. The shoulder rest is a support piece that holds the instrument at the bottom making more lightly to support the viola on the shoulder. Similarly, the chinrest allows us to support the chin on the top of the instrument comfortably by providing the subjection of this.

 

The bow

The bow is essential to get better results in the technical execution of the instrument. Besides it is a fundamental accessory to play the viola, as any bowed string instrument, this will determine the quality of the sound obtained when touched. Putting on a side the technical interpretation of the musician and the quality of the instrument, the bow takes an important role in the recipe, the good quality of this is necessary to complement it.

Compared with the violin bow, the viola one has a wider part of bow hair and it is few grams heavier. It is characterized by its round shape at the rectangular corner of the frog.

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  • Violas for all levels

    In Xavier Vidal i Roca we have violas of all sizes and levels. All of them have been previously calibrated guaranteeing an excellent sound. We also have a professional specialized team willing to guide your decision according to your needs and preferences in order to provide you fully satisfaction in the purchase of your instrument. 

    Viola as an instrument 

    Viola is a string instrument that sits between the violin and the cello in terms of tonality. It is longer and a little wider than the violin, so it has also a lower tone as an instrument, being recognized as the contralto or the dramatic tenor of the family. For this reason, viola has always been more used for harmonics in the symphonic literature rather than as a solo instrument. However, many composers and performers have succumbed to the charms of its melancholic sound, for example Bach. 

    Xavier Vidal I Roca guarantee 

    All our violas have a professional assembly guarantee that our luthier team is responsible to realize. We start from a base of high quality materials that are worked in our workshop in an accurate, manual and delicate way in order to obtain the best results and optimization. Our guarantee covers the following processes: change of the bridge, change of the soundpost, adjustment and rectification of the fingerboard, the nut and the peg box, as well as the assembly of the strings and the tailpiece. In addition, through an acoustic test, our luthiers ensure that the viola respond with all its potential at the time of being played. 

    The viola sizes 

    The viola is the only instrument of his family that is governed by a different scale when it comes to size. There is no standard size for adults as there is for violin and cello. In addition the viola is usually measured in inches, being one inch equivalent to 2.54 cm. As a general rule, violas of smaller sizes such as 11 ", 12" and 13 " violas are intended for children, since they have an small shape and are easier for them to handle. The 14 " and 15" are ideal for teenagers, being the 15" viola the minimum size considered for an adult. From the 15” viola we can find bigger sizes for adults, being more common the 15.5" and 16 " violas, although we can also find violas of up to 18". There was a time when famous violists began to use bigger sizes violas captive by the sound of a bigger soundboard. The problem was that this fact turned out to be harmful for the musicians that practiced it, because using a viola bigger than their own size produced them injuries. For this reason, it is very important that the viola totally adapts to the musician who plays it, since the wrong measure will reduce comfort and performance. 

    The viola levels 

    In our website you can search your ideal viola in the easiest and faster way. We have level bars that represent in a very visual way the functionality of each instrument. In this way, through filters, you can select your preferred level and our searcher will offer you all those violas that best suit your needs. 

    E1: Ideal instruments for initiation students that include all the guarantees to ensure the progression of the beginning musician. 

    E2: Selection of instruments that are characterized by a higher level of quality of sound and performance in the study range that allow the student to improve without limitations. 

    A1: Instruments designed for students at an advanced level who require quality material that allows them to improve in their learning and studies. When you are not sure you want to pursue higher musical studies, these violas cover the needs for a longer study period. 

    A2: Selection oriented to students who plan to undertake higher or professional studies in the near future. They cover the needs and requirements for a good musical level in terms of sound, tone and emission. Recommended as second instrument for professionals. 

    S1: Very high performance instruments ideal for musicians of higher courses or as second instrument for professionals thanks to its superior level in sound, power and emission. 

    S2: It collect the highest level violas aimed at professional musicians or students of the higher courses. This selection consists of both old and contemporary instruments by the hand of significant luthiers that fully cover the guarantee of conservation status and certificate. 

    Buy online 

    If you want to buy a quality viola, in our workshop located in Barcelona you can find a great variety of violas at reasonable prices that you can try in our test rooms. Our professionals will be able to help you and guide you in case you need it. If you already know the viola you want to buy, you can buy viola online right here, in our web store, counting in both options with a guarantee that ensures the perfect condition and operation of the viola.

    Nowadays the 50% of purchases in Spain are made online, the lack of time and the schedules of the physical stores have increased this method of purchase. That is why Xavier Vidal i Roca wants to provide you an online store 24 hours a day so that you can find the easiest way to get your instrument. Our page is clear and simple, you just have to register or create an account if you are a new user, and place your order. For more illustration we have different sections in our page that will guide you in the process and will show you the price ranges of shipping according to locality. For purchases at the national level shipping costs are free from 200€ of purchase and will be delivered within a period of 24 to 48 hours on weekdays. However, the instruments will not be sent on Fridays or on holiday’s eve, since from our team we want to guarantee their good condition at the time of being delivered avoiding their storage. 

  • Violas bows for all levels

    The bow is a fundamental and very important tool when playing the viola. This essential accessory in the bowed string instruments gets its name for its initial resemblance to the hunting bow, being considered its main predecessor. The bow has passed various modifications throughout history. François Xavier Tourte was the French bow maker who established the design and measurements of the modern bow as we know it today. The length of the bow for viola is approximately 75cm, being larger and a little heavier than the bow for violin. 

     

    Parts and materials 

    The bow stick is usually made of Brazil wood, although currently it is also common to use composite materials such as carbon fiber or fiberglass. It is finished with a screw by which the tension of the strings are regulated. The frog is the place where the strings are held and which allows the musician to support the fingers when playing the instrument. The hair is made of horsehair or bristles, and their quantity varies according to the maker and the instrument for which the bow is intended. The bow tip can end with a piece of bone or plastic ornament, just as the part of the stick closest to the frog is decorated with a plastic, nickel, silk or silver wound. 

    There are many techniques to play a stringed instrument, and the bow is a very important one. Its materials and confection process are determining factors in the viola sound when it is being played. In addition, bow handling will give a stronger or sweet tone, as well as more hardness or softness. 

     

    Which is my ideal bow? 

    Given the quantity of bows on the market, our team has previously done a careful selection in order to offer to you a range that meets all the needs and demands for all levels. Here are some tips to follow when choosing your ideal bow. All beginners who have started in the viola do not need an excessive bow, as their technique is not yet highly developed. It is advisable to choose a bow that has a relatively strong stick and a good camber, in addition to a good balance. As your technical abilities increase, your needs and demand for the bow will also grow. 

    The bow should be considered as an extension of the hand when it comes to playing. It should not feel annoying, but quite the opposite. It must be a tool that provides confidence to the musician, not worrying him about anything, just make his movements flow. It is important to know that each bow interacts different with each instrument, so it is recommended to attend the store with your own viola. In this way you will find the bow that best suits you and your instrument. 

    On the other hand, the characteristics of the stick are very important to determine the sound that will the bow will provide. If the bow is too soft the sound may lack clarity and definition. Instead, a stronger bow will emit a brighter and more focused sound. But if the bow is too strong or tense the result will be a harsh sound. It is difficult to find a bow that gives the balance between a wide and clear sound, and also a quick response. 

    If you want to buy violin bow, in our workshop located in Barcelona you can count on a great variety of bows that you could try in one of our test rooms. Also you will have some help and personalized advice from our skilled worker. However, if you already know what item you want, you can buy violin bow online right here at our webstore. In either option will have a guarantee that ensures the perfect condition of the bow.

    Bow levels 

    In the same way as the instruments, in our website you will be able realize a search in order to find your ideal bow in the easiest and faster way. We have level bars that represent in a very visual way the functionality of each of our bows. Through the filters, you can select the level you want and our searcher will show you all those bows that best suit your needs. 

    E1: Ideal bows for initiation students that include all the guarantees to ensure the progression of the beginning musician. 

    E2: Bow selection characterized by a higher level in the quality of sound and performance that allow the student to advance without limitations. 

    A1: Indicated bows for those students at an advanced level that require quality material to improve their learning and studies. These bows cover all the needs for a longer study period. 

    A2: Selection oriented to students who plan to undertake higher or professional studies in the near future. These bows cover the needs and demands for a good musical level. 

    S1: Very high performance bows, ideal for musicians of higher courses. 

    S2: Collect the highest level bows for professional musicians or students of the higher courses. In this selection we find bows of significant bow makers that have all the guarantees. 

     

    Xavier Vidal i Roca guarantee 

    All our bows have a professional assembly guarantee that our professional team is responsible to realize. We start from a base of high quality materials that are worked in our workshop in a manual, careful and professional way in order to obtain the best results and optimization. Our guarantee covers the following processes: checking the general condition of the stick, as well as its longitudinal straightness, its distribution of the curve with different tension levels and its excess or lack of curvature. Checking the general condition of the hairs in terms of length and placement, the rebound and tension, as well as its lateral force, correct operation of the screw and the adaptation of the nut to ensure a proper displacement through the stick. 

  • Violas Packs

    At Luthier Vidal we have developed viola packs that include an instrument, a bow and a case so that you have a complete equipment at a lower price than if you purchase it separately. These are ideal packs for students looking for quality violas and bows protected by a case that fulfills the basic functions in an excellent way. Each element has been selected under our expert criteria, always thinking about the needs of violists and the quality and competitiveness of the products we offer, which are always first class.

  • Strings for violas

    In Xavier Vidal i Roca we have a wide string catalog for viola. Our products have been selected to cover all kinds of needs and preferences that the violists may have. We have strings for the most demanding musicians, from those sweet profiles in their interpretation to the most aggressive. Our selection consist of multiple brands that guarantee high quality. 

    Strings are a fundamental element for the viola that will provide better or worse sound quality, since they are in charge of originating the sonority of the instrument when the violist is playing it. We can play the viola in different ways but the strings are a determining factor and must be adapted to each of these different practices in order to obtain a good sound. 

    In our store you will find strings for viola of all the ranges and types existing according to your level and needs. Viola strings correspond in the notes of A (LA) followed by D (RE), G (SOL) and C (DO) from the sharpest to the lower. Keep in mind that the more lower is the string the thicker the string will be in order to better maintain the tension and vibrate in the proper way. 

    Materials 

    The strings are classified according to the material of which they are made, since its material will contribute some qualities or others. In our online shop or our physical store in Barcelona you can find the following types of strings for viola according to its composition: 

    • Gut Strings - Gut is the traditional material used in the manufacture of viola strings. In general, this type of string is very sensitive to environmental and temperature changes, the sharpest strings are more fragile because they are the thinnest. However, the gut strings provide to the viola a rich sound with warm nuances. They are the most characteristic for baroque and old instruments to attribute the more traditional sound and for the fact that they exert less pressure on the viola. 
    • Metal strings - Metal strings are very practical thanks to their better tuning and resistance to environmental and temperature changes. The sound that they offer is more metallic and strong, but are less flexible than the gut strings so they limit the vibration and reduce the sonority. They are more used in modern violas since they exert the double of pressure on the instrument. 
    • Synthetic strings - They are more similar to gut strings in sound but are less durable than metallic strings. The synthetic ones offer a bright and clear tone, being the most used strings nowadays for its great offer in relation to quality and price.  

     

    String tension 

    Strings are also divided by their tension, so that we can find heavy or forte tension, a normal tension and soft or dolce tension. Those that are of stronger tensions offer a greater volume besides a greater resistance to the bow, but they exert more pressure on the instrument by what would not be suitable for old violas. On the opposite, the strings of lower tensions produce a very soft tone, but much less powerful sound. The most used are the medium tension strings, leaving the forte and dolce for more concrete cases. 


    Our offer
     

    In our strings selection you can find both individual strings and complete set strings. We have both synthetic, metallic and gut strings of different tensions and endings, as well as different measures in reference to your viola size. Some of the brands that take part on our range are Corelli, D'addario, Jargar, Pirastro, Larsen Strings or Thomastik among others. 

    When should I change the strings? 

    It is difficult to determine when it is time to change the strings. A broken string or a very deteriorate one are not the only sings that mean you have to change them. The fact of using them a lot also deteriorates the string and often they lose tuning and projection. Many factors influence in the deterioration of a string such as practice hours, sweat of the hands, the times they are cleaned, etc. As a general rule the metal strings are the ones that last longer, followed by the synthetic ones, and finally the less durable ones are the gut strings. Approximately synthetic ropes would be advisable to change them every 6 months. But as we said before, this depends on many factors so only experience will actually teach you to identify when it is time to change the strings of your viola. If we break a string of the set and replace it with a new one, it will sound stronger. There are violists looking for that effect on purpose, but if you want to avoid it we recommend replacing the broken string for some old string until it is time to change the whole set. We can extend the length of our strings through protection and cleaning. It is always advisable to note the type of string you use in your viola, since forgetting it can be very easy. In this way, if the last combination that you did has liked you then you can reuse it, or otherwise change it and create new combinations. 

    How much do my strings cost? 

    As everything in regards to music, it will depend on the range in which you want to shuffle options. It should also be said that not all strings of the same model are worth the same since, normally, the thicker the string, the higher its price will be. If you want to buy basic viola strings, prices will be lower, but the sound of strings will be flatter and more mundane. If instead you want to buy professional viola strings, your price will increase but you will gain a lot in regards to sound quality.

    The price ranges for the strings are usually quite varied depending on the type of string and the features. The same model of string can differ in price according to the qualities of one or the other, being thicker strings more expensive than the thin ones. We can then find individual strings from twelve euros up to thirty euros approximately. While the string sets for viola (LA, RE, SOL, DO) are more or less between sixty and a hundred euros approximately. If you are not sure of the type of strings that is more suitable for your Viola form Xavier Vidal i Roca we offer you the advice of our professional team that gladly will help you on your purchase. 

     

     

  • Cases for violas and violas bows

    In Xavier Vidal i Roca we have a wide catalog of cases for viola and for viola bows. We have cases that differ in size, color, shape, stamping and design for all tastes, from those profiles more classic to the most modern and daring. 

    Our selection consists of cases for all viola sizes, from violas of 11" to those violas superior to 15 inches. For each size we offer models of different materials, all of them of high quality, that guarantee the safety of your viola in terms of shocks and external factors like the weather and the temperature. Our cases make the transport of your instrument easier in the most comfortable and safe way. 


    How do I choose my case?
     

    When it comes to choose our case, it is necessary to have in mind that the viola is a very delicate and sensitive instrument. Therefore we must choose a good case that is effective on the protection of our instrument by keeping it in perfect conditions. We must think about our habits and routines regarding the use of the viola to determine the elements that we seek in our future case. For example, if every day we use public transport to get to our place of practice, we should look for those cases that offer us good protection in terms of shocks, lightness to be carried around and handles or backpack straps for an easier transportation. Many other factors will influence, such as the number of bows we need to carry, the place where our viola will rest, whether we require a hygrometer or string tube, as well as pockets to carry music sheets. Each musician will have his own needs that he must establish in order to look for the case that better fits his them. 

    Types of Cases 

    As we have already mentioned, there are many varieties of viola cases from which to choose in our wide range. We will talk about some of the highlights that characterize a case in order to identify their proprieties. 

    According to the shape, we can find rectangular cases or those that take the instrument shape. The rectangular cases are the most traditional and usually have compartments for viola accessories as well as pockets for music sheets. Instead, the instrument shape cases are more modern and daring, thus showing that you are a violist. 

    According to the case materials, this will offer some benefits or others. All cases consist of a hard base usually made of wood or some synthetic material that is covered with fabric, leather or plastic. The more common materials used to create cases are plastic, ABS, fabric, carbon fiber, fiberglass, natural compounds, etc. Each of these materials gives characteristics in terms of shock absorption, impermeability, hardness and lightness that differ from each other. 

    It is very important that our case is made of a waterproof material and also has a good closing system that will not allow the water to come inside. A good case, besides being waterproof, must absorb well the shocks so that they do not harm our instrument. Most of the cases have an inner blanket that protects the viola from the bow contact, although we can also use pajamas to protect our viola. 

    We can find cases for one viola or for two, in case we want to carry two instruments together. Normally they have bow holders, but if we want to carry more bows than our case can hold or our case does not have this compartment, we also find bow cases. The most sophisticated cases also have a string tube and a hygrometer that will measure the humidity of the air, as this factor really influences on the viola. 

    How much does my case cost? 

    We find a wide range of prices depending on the materials, features and brands. While we can find pajamas for twenty euros, the most basic cases for viola and viola bows have prices around fifty and a hundred euros. As the case becomes more consistent and rigid, in addition to increasing its features, the price also increase around three hundred and seven hundred. But if we talk about more sophisticated cases we will find them from nine hundred euros. 

    Our offer 

    From Xavier Vidal i Roca, our team has selected a great range of cases for viola of different brands, features and sophistication, all characterized by being of high quality. In our shop we work with well-known brands like Rapsody, Gewa, Bam, Maurizio Riboni, Sielam, Tonarelli and Jakob Winter among others. We offer both classic and modern styles, as well as a wide range of colors and materials. If you are cannot decide which is your ideal case or if you have any doubts about one specific model, we put at your disposal our team of professionals who will gladly advise you. Both, our physical store and our online store, are governed by our philosophy of proximity and direct contact with customers in order to guarantee their full satisfaction in obtaining their case or any other product. 

     

  • Rosins for violas

    In Xavier Vidal i Roca we have an assorted selection of archs resins for violas. You can find clear or dark ones. They are though to gut strings and for those musicians who are allergic to resin. You can find the best one that matchs with your needs.

  • Shoulder rests for violas

    In Xavier Vidal i Roca you will find the perfect shoulder rest for your viola. It arranges to your figure for maxime comfort. We have diverse types of different materials to satisfy your preferences and demands.

  • Chin rests for violas

    In Xavier Vidal i Roca we have different protectors and chin rests for all viola sizes. Choose the one that fixs you better with your instrument.

  • Mutes for Violas

    Look our mute catalogue for your viola. Viola mutes are made of different materials like rubber, metal or plastic. Find the one that matchs better with your instrument.

  • Stands for violas

    In Xavier Vidal i Roca we have different models of viola stands that matchs perfectly with your instrument' size. Find the one that fixs you better.

  • Tailpieces and tensors for violas

    In Xavier Vidal i Roca you can find a selection of tailpieces and tensors for violas. We have different shapes and sizes according to your instrument and its tension required. You can check our catalogue to look for our variety of arrangement materials and the colors to satisfy your preferences.

  • Baroques violas

    In Xavier Vidal i Roca we have violas, archs and baroque strings series for violists of former music. You can check our catalogue to look for our variety of this products to satisfy your preferences.

  • News about violas

    In Xavier Vidal i Roca we consider everyday we are facing a more demanding market. That's why we follow an exhaustiv selection process to choose the best violas to satisfy the most tough levels of musicians' requests.  Our team will be pleased to help you finding the right violin for you.

  • Promotions and offers in Violas

    In Xavier Vidal i Roca you could be the first to know the latests news and trends. Get in touch with current things in violas world and get noticed about our latest purchases in violas and its accesories. Also, find the best discounts and offers in our catalogue.

Showing 1 - 18 of 398 items
Showing 1 - 18 of 398 items

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