The viola is a stringed instrument which belongs to the violin family (along with the violin itself, the cello and the bass) and represents its alto voice. It is comparable to the violin in how it is constructed and played, but it is much larger, with a body measuring between 38 and 46 cm as opposed to the approximate 35-36 cm of a violin. Correspondingly, the mensur of the violin and its tuning are C3 – G3 – D4 – A4 compared to the violin’s G3 – D4 – A4 – E5. Because the body is relatively small for this tuning, it creates the viola’s beautiful sound, which is described as dark, melancholy, muted and nasal. To this day, the viola remains far less widely appreciated than the violin, even though there are outstanding musicians amongst contemporary violists who understand how to showcase the acoustic qualities of their instrument to the greatest effect. Some music teachers also recommend the viola for beginning students, since its more gentle sound is not as shrill to young ears as the tones produced by the E string of children’s violins.