Cello vs Viola – Is a Cello bigger than a Viola?


A cello is a bass instrument of the violin family, held upright on the floor between the legs of the seated player.

Much identical to violin and viola, but much larger than the both.

The sound of the cello is most similar to the human voice, and it can produce a variety of tones, from warm low tones to bright high notes.

Usually there are eight to twelve cellos in an orchestra, playing both harmony and melody.

Because the cello is too large to fit under your chin, you play it sitting down, placing the cello body between your knees and your neck on your left shoulder.

The body of the cello stands on the ground and is supported by a metal peg.

The cello is played the same way as the violin and viola: the left hand presses the strings and the right hand moves the bow or plucks the strings.

The cello is much more popular than a viola.

Size Of A Cello vs Size Of A Viola

Cellos are measured by back length, from full-size cellos 30 inches or more, designed for adults over five feet tall, to 1/8 cellos designed for children ages four to six.

Cellos have standard adult sizes as well as a slightly smaller 7/8 adult size usually for women and older teenagers. Full-size violas range from 13” to as much as 17” and up.

Violas are 1 to 4 inches longer than violins. Violas do not have a standard size, but the most commonly made viola body is 16 inches long, and other typical sizes are 13, 14, and 15 inches. Sizes 13.5″, 14.5″ and 15.5″ are less common.

For juvenile size violins, viola strings are sometimes strung to achieve the same sound at a smaller size.

Violinists can measure the viola by placing it under the chin and reaching out to touch the whistle. When the hand is under the viola, it should be able to wrap around the whistle with some curvature at the elbow.

Cellos come in two adult sizes, the standard 4/4 (48 inches tall) and 7/8, and five junior sizes: 3/4, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/10, and 1/16. Seventeenth-century cellos were much larger than modern cellos. A cellist’s hand length of 24 inches is appropriate for a full cello size 4/4. Players with an arm length of 18 to 22 inches are better suited to smaller cellos.

The cello is played sitting down with the instrument between the knees, and its playing range reaches an octave below the viola’s.

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