Alto

Tuned the same as a viola this is the instrument that will most likely shake up musicians. Since it's size takes the instrument from under the chin to a cello position. Yoyo Ma recorded Bartok's concerto for viola on it. An outstanding performance for wich he was awarded a grammy.

The greatest difficulty with the alto is that it puts the trained viola player at a distinct disadvantage by taking the viola from under his chin and setting it on a peg, cello fashion on the floor. Even with an unusual body length of 20 in., its mensure has been adjusted to that of a normal 17.5-in. (44.5-cm) viola, and some violists with large enough physique have been able to play it under the chin. Cello teachers have been impressed by its usefulness in starting young children on an instrument that they can handle readily as well as one they can continue to follow for a career. The greatest advantage is the increase in power and overall tone quality. Leopold Stokowski said when he heard this instrument in concert, "That is the sound I have always wanted from the violas in my orchestra. No viola has ever sounded like that before. It fills the whole hall."