Saturday, September 24, 2005

A Viola Has Its Limits

I had a nice chuckle when reading the last part of this description of the viola, as compared to the violin:

…theoretically the violas might be assumed to possess an identical register a fifth lower. But in practice composers mostly avoid using the extreme upper notes even when the violins are playing at the very top; this is because the extra size of the viola puts these notes out of reach for most players and in any case this is not their purpose in life.

Norman Del Mar: Companion to the Orchestra.

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