Music Fry

Different Music Genres You Can Play With Your Viola

Over the last years, viola and other bowed stringed instruments are associated with the classical music genre. Though this is mostly true, there are other genres that you can play with your viola such as country, jazz, and rock. Violas are universal instruments that find their sole version in different fields. Check out these different music genres that you can play with your viola.

Different Music Genres

  1. Classical

Violas are extensive in nature. It can go far beyond different genres and explore every bit of it. But the most common genre that is often interlinked with it is classical music. Other stringed instruments that intertwined with this type of genre are cellos.

You may have been to some orchestras or musical performances with violists. It is usual to hear classic musical pieces performed by artists. Two of the most favorite musical pieces intended to play by the viola are Viola Sonata by Rebecca Clarke and Harold in Italy by Berlioz. While some notable artists that perform this kind of genre are Hans Zimmer and Yanni which are both in the music industry.

  1. Country

Country music is not just limited to guitars. It is actually a lot more than that. Violas are seen to be played with this type of genre too, alongside bluegrass. There are several music sheets, both in hard copy and digital, available for viola use like the arrangement made by Dave McKeown. He arranged and edited the “30 Bluegrass and Country Tunes” which is a collection of American heritage music for violas.

  1. Jazz

Jazz also shares a distinct relationship with violists. Though in most cases it is seen with woodwind instruments, jazz actually takes part with violas as well as violins and cellos. The progress of these musical instruments to cater to different genres has helped the music industry in its development. Such an example of performance is by Ola Kvernberg, a Norwegian jazz performer, who performs pieces with jazz introductions played by a violin.

  1. Rock

No, rock is not limited to electronic guitars and other strong and fast-paced musical techniques. Rock viola uses techniques primarily from the classical genre but in a quicker manner and stronger tune. Violists use techniques like throwing or tapping to make the overall musical performance appear aggressive to produce rapid-fire sounds. Bands that have used these genres employing the viola are Yellowcard and The Velvet Underground.



There are no standard guidelines on what a musical instrument can play. It is not some sort of a public policy that must be abided by all artists, musicians, and performers. Music is a form of art and one of art’s characteristics is having free will and being democratic. Meaning to say, music is something that can change extensively.

A good performer, artist, or musician clearly understood that whatever genre it is, if it is done in each and their own way, the outcome will be fantastic. Though the violas are one of the musical instruments that remain unexploited, which is a good thing, people who dare mix their personal touch to musical techniques are appreciated.

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