views updated May 29 2018

viola (Fr. alto or taille; Ger. Bratsche).
1. Bowed 4-str. instr., sometimes known as alto or tenor because of its lower pitch compared with vn., to which it is closely related. Tuned to c, g, d′, a′. Va. section standard in all orchs.; one va. is standard component of str. qt. Also used as solo instr., several concs. and conc.-type works having been written for it. viola pomposa was rare 18th-cent. type with a higher 5th str. See also Tertis, Lionel.

2.  Org. stop of 8′ length and pitch.

3.  Generic It. term for str. instrs. in Renaissance and baroque periods, incl. viole da gamba (leg viols), i.e. members of the viol family; and viole da braccio (arm viols), the forerunners of the vn. family.


views updated May 18 2018

Viola (pansy, violet; family Violaceae) A genus of dicotyledonous (see DICOTYLEDON) herbs with simple alternate or basal leaves. The flowers are zygomorphic, with 5 sepals and 5 petals, the lower 2 often fused, with prominent guide-lines and a contrasting centre. Many species have been domesticated and hybridized to produce the showy pansies grown in garden borders. There are about 500 species, of widespread temperate range.


views updated Jun 11 2018

vi·o·la1 / vīˈōlə; vē-; ˈvīələ/ • n. an instrument of the violin family, larger than the violin and tuned a fifth·o·la2 / vēˈōlə/ • n. a plant of a genus (Viola) that includes the pansies and violets.


views updated May 14 2018

viola Stringed instrument of the violin family. It is slightly larger than the violin and its four strings are tuned a fifth lower. It is the tenor member of a string quartet.


views updated Jun 27 2018

viola2 alto or tenor violin. XVIII. — Sp., It., prob. — Pr. viola; see VIOL.


views updated May 21 2018

viola1 †violet XV; single-coloured pansy XIX. — L. viola violet.
So violaceous XVII. f. L. violāceus violet-coloured.