Music For Viola Players

Exploring Different Styles of Music for Viola Players

One of the advantages of being a viola player is access to a wide range of musical styles and genres. You have the freedom to choose the music style you want that can showcase the unique qualities of your instrument and your playing techniques.

Exploring various styles can help you expand your musical repertoire and challenge your creativity. But the question is, what are the different styles of music that viola players like you can explore? Stick with us as we uncover six styles you can try!

Music For Viola Players

Different styles of music for viola players

If you’re looking for a viola for sale and interested in exploring this instrument, here are the six music styles to try once you have it!

  • Classical

Classical music is a traditional and rich style you can try on your viola. Since the Baroque era, viola has been an essential part of classical music. Famous composers like Mozart, Bach, and Beethoven have some of the best-written viola compositions. 

If you want to play classical music on the viola, you need high technical skills and precision. You can explore classical music for viola in solo suites, chamber music, and symphonies.

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  • Country and Bluegrass

Coming from American culture and history, country and bluegrass are not typically associated with viola. However, it can be a great alternative for the fiddle, especially in a country or bluegrass band. 

Using a viola to explore these two genres will focus on the rhythmic and improvisation technique of the player. If you’re up for this challenge, you can start by listening to various music and recordings of fiddle players and learn some fiddle tunes.  

  • Hungarian and gypsy

Two of the most interesting music styles from Eastern Europe are Hungarian and Gypsy, for which the viola is perfect. Viola is a famous instrument used to play the melodic lines in these two genres but used differently. For example, in Hungarian, the viola is used in traditional folk ensembles with double bass, cimbalom, and violin. Meanwhile, in gypsy, the viola is an alternative to the violin.

  • Celtic 

Viola is used in Celtic music as a harmonic accompaniment or melody. Celtic music involves a rhythmic and lively feel, and viola is perfect. You’d typically see viola plate din Celtics with traditional instruments like flute, sharp, and fiddle. Try listening to jigs and reels before you start exploring this style.

  • Pop 

In pop, viola adds a rich and warm tone that complements other instruments. It is typically used as part of the string section in arrangements in a more contemporary style with a strong highlight on groove and rhythm. 

  • Jazz 

The viola is not typically heard in jazz but can add a unique and expressive sound. You can use viola as a solo instrument or as a part of an ensemble. Both can provide a rich, unique, expressive sound that blends well with other instruments. Learning and understanding jazz harmony will contribute to success in this music style.

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Discovering the right style for you

Finding the right music style can be existing and daunting, but here are some tips to help you with it.

  • Listen to various genres and watch the one that resonates most with you.
  • Don’t forget to consider your preferences, like what style you enjoy the most.
  • Try playing each genre to see what type fits your skills.
  • Ask a mentor or a viola teacher to gain valuable insight and guidance.

Benefits of exploring different styles

Exploring different music styles on your viola can give you various benefits, such as the following.

  • It can help you develop and hone your skills more.
  • It can expand your musical horizons with techniques and approaches you did not know before.
  • It can enhance your versatility.
  • It can provide you with creative inspiration.
  • It can encourage musical collaboration.
  • It can increase your musical enjoyment while broadening your musical knowledge.


There are different music styles you can explore on your viola. While it can be intimidating to try something new on an instrument like viola, it’s worth taking note that it can help you improve your musical abilities. It’s also a great way to enjoy music and leave your comfort zone to try new and unfamiliar things. Finding the right music style to play on your viola doesn’t have to be hard. You need to consider your personal preferences, skills, and techniques or ask for professional help. You’ll surely find the right style for you in no time!

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