A lot of instruments have come and gone throughout music history, but it's safe to say that despite being some of the oldest still in use, the violin family is here to stay. Violas are the tenor of the group, and their origins date all the way back to the 1400s. Most of the greatest composers in history, including Beethoven and Mozart, featured the viola heavily in their work and it's a key member of the string quartet in any symphony orchestra. So if you're looking for your first instrument, the viola is a great choice. And if you're an experienced player checking this section for something new to add to your collection, you'll probably find something to pique your interest.
For the newcomers to the viola, the best place to start is with a look at all the instruments and outfits designed especially for beginners. Two of the top sellers, for instance, are the Bellafina Musicale Series Viola Outfit and Prelude Series Viola Outfit. These offer the affordability and accessible playability needed for a solid start on the viola, and they each come bundled with a high-quality case and bow so you'll have everything you need to begin playing from scratch.
If you're an experienced violist, you probably have a good idea of what you're searching for - so let's look at a few suggestions that might fit the bill. The Nagoya Suzuki Model 2 Viola, Ren Wei Shi Artist Viola and Karl Willhelm Model 55 Viola are fine instruments that go easy on the pocketbook, or you can step up another level with the Maple Leaf Strings Emperor Artisan Collection Viola. And if you'd like something you can plug in for amplified playing, easy recording or silent practice, then check out the NS Design CR Series Electric Viola and the Yamaha SVV-200 Series Silent Viola.
All these instruments are just to name a handful of samples taken from this section. There's more where they came from, so feel free to dive in for an even closer look. No matter what sort of violist you are - aspiring, intermediate or expert - you can expect to find a few violas that will tickle your fancy. There's no time like the present to expand your collection with a brand new instrument, so don't be shy about making it happen!