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    Alto - Music and instrument

    The alto, also known as the viola, is a stringed musical instrument in the family of bowed instruments. It resembles the violin but is slightly larger. The alto is tuned a fifth lower than the violin, usually in C-G-D-A.

    How to play it? 

    It is played by holding it under the chin and supporting it with the shoulder and left arm, while the right hand uses the bow to produce sound by rubbing the strings. The alto has a deeper and richer tone compared to the violin and is often used to provide harmony and counterpoint in orchestral, chamber, and

    ... contemporary music ensembles.

    It is also used as a solo instrument in certain repertoire. Viola players, known as violists, use a technique similar to violinists to produce a variety of musical nuances and expressions.

    There are several renowned alto manufacturers in Europe. Here are a few of them:

    • Stradivarius: The famous Stradivari family from Cremona, Italy, is known for their legendary string instruments, including violas. Stradivarius violas are highly sought after for their exceptional sound quality and historical value.

    • Guarneri del Gesù: Another renowned family of Italian luthiers, Guarneri del Gesù instruments are also highly esteemed. Violas produced by Guarneri del Gesù are known for their power, projection, and tonal richness.

    • Amati: The Amati family is one of the oldest dynasties of Italian luthiers, dating back to the 16th century. Their violas are renowned for their finesse, tonal balance, and quality craftsmanship.

    • William Hill & Sons: This British company is known for its high-quality violas. They have a long tradition of string instrument making and are recognized for their artisanal expertise.

    • French School: France also has a long tradition in string instrument making. French luthiers such as Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume, Charles François Gand, and several others have produced renowned violas.

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