394mm model

Initially modelled on the ‘Kievman’ viola by the Brescian luthier Gasparo da Salo, dating from about 1580, this instrument typically has a back length of  394 mm (15.5’’), a string length of 355 mm, and a nut width of 24 mm.

The modest length of the back is compensated for by the generous width of both the upper and lower bouts. The bridge is situated closer to the middle point on the front than is typical of Cremonese instruments, which yields a shorter string length. This can be advantageous for players seeking  both a more manageable size and a good viola sound.

The neck is shaped with this kind of player in mind, starting with a nut size of 24mm, and generally keeping the scroll area as light as feasible. A more lightly designed Cremonese-influenced scroll replaces the rather heavier Brescian type.



413mm model 

We see here the basic proportions of the Clifford Hoing Diploma viola model of 1949, but the outline has been developed to accommodate narrower C bouts. The sound holes are in a Brescian style whilst the scroll is more Cremonese.

Typically the back length is  413mm (16.25″), the string length is 367mm, and the nut is 25mm. The bridge sits near the centre of the front, allowing a modest string length relative to the body size.

The viola responds well across the full range, and has a pleasing quality of viola darkness about it. It is large enough to give the full range of expected viola timbres, and its modest proportions and lightness of build mean it can keep up with the violins when required. 


If you would like to arrange a Southampton visit to try out the violas, or if you have any other queries, please complete the boxes below and send me a message.

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