Most of us have heard viola jokes throughout our musical lives.  Why do we tell jokes about violas and violists?  I'm not sure, but the jokes portray the viola as unattractive and violists as...shall we say a little slow?
A violist and a violinist went for a walk in a meadow.  As they walked, the violinist saw a dead crow lying on the ground.

The violinist said, "Look, it's a dead crow!"

The violist looked skyward and asked, "Where?"
Viola History
Or Maybe Viola Jokes
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The viola is actually a lovely instrument!  Tuned a fifth lower than the violin, its ancestry goes back to the viol family.  The baryton was a member of the family, and had a similar tone, but is seldom seen today. 
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There is also evidence that the Vikings prized the viola due to its ability to ward off wild animals.  The Vikings had domesticated the wolf very early.  Not only had they taught the animals to herd and to protect, they had even taught the animals to read and write, and to manufacture their own clothing to stay warm through the long, Norse Winter.  Anthropologists also found these items in the same village.  Note the love of the animals for their masters' instruments as well!
Viola Dog Shirt
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The Viola has evolved.  And as improvements have been made to the instrument itself, music education has kept pace so that it is now possible to produce competent violists in sufficient numbers to fill the seats in all our major symphony orchestras and major ensembles much more quickly than in the past.  The innovation which has allowed this to occur is pictured below.
Viola Assistance Shirt
Viola Assistance Shirt
Viola Assistance Shirt
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Viola Assistance Shirt
Further innovation has produced an even more radical model, but traditional violists have protested that this goes too far...making the viola accessible to ANYONE. 
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The resulting plethora of violists has caused some somewhat unfair criticism of the current crop of violists' mental and musical prowess.

How many Violists does it take to make a batch of Chocolate Chip Cookies?
10.  1 to stir the batter, the other 9 to peel the M
&M's.

What is the latest crime wave in New York City?
Drive-by Viola recitals.


What is the range of a Viola?
An NFL punter can sometimes reach up to 60 yards. Soccer goalies do slightly better.


It was actually our German counterparts in this activity that gave the Viola its German name.  Bratsche.  That's the sound the viola makes when the soccer goalie attempts another distance record.

Why do so many people take an instant dislike to the Viola?
It saves time.


But Violas do have practical uses in today's society!
I Lost a Ski Viola Shirt
Viola BBQ Apron
And surely, the similarity in size between a Viola and A Cicket Bat is not coincidental!
Viola Shirt
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Andrew Lloyd Webber: The Phantom Of The Opera (Viola) - sheet music at www.sheetmusicplus.com
Andrew Lloyd Webber: The Phantom Of The Opera (Viola) Composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Viola solo book for viola solo. With standard notation. 16 pages. Published by Hal Leonard. (HL.849030)
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The Beatles: Lennon and McCartney Solos - Viola - sheet music at www.sheetmusicplus.com
The Beatles: Lennon and McCartney Solos - Viola Performed by The Beatles. Viola solo songbook and accompaniment CD for solo viola. 12 pages. Published by Hal Leonard. (HL.841625)
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Disney Solos - Viola - sheet music at www.sheetmusicplus.com
Disney Solos - Viola Instrumental solo book and accompaniment CD for viola. 12 Disney favorites with a CD that lets you play along with a full band. 24 pages. Published by Hal Leonard. (HL.841411)
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25 Top Christmas Songs - Viola - sheet music at www.sheetmusicplus.com
25 Top Christmas Songs - Viola Viola solo songbook (no accompaniment is available for this title.) for viola. 32 pages. Published by Hal Leonard. (HL.841394)
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Johann Sebastian Bach: 6 Suites - sheet music at www.sheetmusicplus.com
Johann Sebastian Bach: 6 Suites Composed by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), arranged by Samuel Lifschey. Viola solo songbook for solo viola (unaccompanied). Schirmer's Library, volume 1564. With standard notation. 53 pages. Published by G. Schirmer, Inc. (HL.50260140)
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Rodolphe Kreutzer: 42 Studies - Viola - sheet music at www.sheetmusicplus.com
Rodolphe Kreutzer: 42 Studies - Viola (Viola Method) Composed by Rodolphe Kreutzer (1766-1831), arranged by Walter Blumenau. Instructional book for viola. Schirmer Library Vol.1737. With performance notes. 69 pages. Published by G. Schirmer, Inc. (HL.50261270)
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Songs of the 90's - Viola - sheet music at www.sheetmusicplus.com
Songs of the 90's - Viola Viola solo songbook for viola solo. With solo part. Series: The Decade Series. 78 pages. Published by Hal Leonard. (HL.841807)
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Big Book of Christmas Songs (Viola) - sheet music at www.sheetmusicplus.com
Big Book of Christmas Songs (Viola) Instrumental solo book for viola. 146 pages. Published by Hal Leonard. (HL.842150)
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Broadway Favorites For Strings - Viola - sheet music at www.sheetmusicplus.com
Broadway Favorites For Strings - Viola Arranged by Lloyd Conley. Viola solo songbook (no accompaniment) for viola. Series: Hal Leonard Essential Elements String Method. 23 pages. Published by Hal Leonard. (HL.868041)
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Here is some Viola Sheet Music you may find interesting and fun!
It is not well-known, but the Vikings were avid violists.  They were attracted to the instrument for several reasons.  The tone, they believed, was the same pitch as the voice of a good cow or a dainty Viking maiden.  So when they played the viola it reminded them of home and loved ones.  They also found that the instrument was useful for more than music.  Archeologists found this article of clothing in the ruins of a Viking village on the coast of North America.
When "Oetzi" the famous glacier mummy was found in the Alps, archeologists and anthropologists were mystified by the riddle of Oetzi's nature.  The major question was, "How did he get under the ice fields?"  A group of leading music-anthropologists delved into the mystery, and after intense study they reached a conclusion.  Oetzi was a violist.  How else could the glacier have caught up with him?
Some Informative Reading about Violas and Violists from Amazon.  Take a Look!  (I especially recommend the Tipbook!)
Yamaha Silent Viola Brown

Yamaha Silent Viola Brown

Yamaha designed the Silent Viola as a highly capable performance and practice instrument. Dual under-bridge piezo pickups and a studio-quality preamp faithfully deliver acoustic tone that's fully tweakable with the onboard EQ system. A repositioned 1/4" output jack drapes the cable behind the player while the lower bout accommodates a standard shoulder rest. The unfinished neck offers the feel of an acoustic instrument and the full 16" scale is easy to play.


Strunal 3/90 FH Student Viola Outfit 16 Inches

Strunal 3/90 FH Student Viola Outfit 16 Inches

Stradivarius design, fully carved, ebony trimmings, inlaid purflings, highly polished chestnut-brown finish, flamed back and sides, 4 string adjusters, and plastic chin rest. Shop-adjusted prior to shipment to meet MENC specifications.


Viola and Cricket--Click the Picture to See the Viola Joke T-Shirt
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Do You Have a Favorite Viola Joke? 
e-mail it to me  
admin  @  violinstudent.com. 
It just might show up here!!!
Santa Viola Button
Olympic Games and the Viola
Many people are not aware of the role the Viola played in establishing the Modern Olympic Games in 1896. Archives show that the most popular event among competitors was the Viola Throw.
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Fiddling for Viola - sheet music at www.sheetmusicplus.com
Fiddling for Viola (Traditional Irish and American Fiddle Tunes Arranged for Viola) Arranged by Michael Hoffheimer. Viola solo songbook for viola. With standard notation and introductory text. 88 pages. Published by Mel Bay Publications, Inc. (MB.97809)
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