What is the difference between a 14" Viola and a 4/4 Violin? Are they both the same but just different names? Is there any difference in standard tuning or strings used? Or any difference in instrument body specifications?

  • 2
    String instrument sizes are far from standardized, especially violas seems to have a broad length range. The question seems covered in the duplicate question given.
    – guidot
    Aug 4, 2018 at 20:51
  • 1
    covered in the duplicate question, but to summarize: generally no difference other than strings and setup, with some manufacturers making the viola body a little deeper than the violin. Aug 5, 2018 at 18:45
  • Yes, 14" means full size. But when I posted an answer to that effect, it got voted down. So I'll tell you the same thing in a comment!
    – Laurence
    Aug 6, 2018 at 23:33

1 Answer 1


The rib height on a 14" Viola is bigger.

Here is a short YouTube video on the matter:

  • Aren't they also tuned differently? Aug 7, 2018 at 3:53
  • 1
    Yes, they are tuned differently. A fifth lower than the violin. The viola tuning from high to low: A-D-G-C. Note that on the video the guy tells that the bridge on the viola needs to be cut slightly different, compared with violin, because of the lower strings. It is the C-string that needs "freedom" to vibrate so to speak. Aug 7, 2018 at 12:34
  • I wondered because the question specifically asks about tuning. Aug 7, 2018 at 13:27
  • Oh yes, tuning was included. Then I think the question is covered. Summary: 1) A 14" viola has a higher or wider rib than a full size violin. 2) It is tuned a fifth lower than the violin. 3) The bridge is slightly different cut. Aug 7, 2018 at 18:29

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