Indented shoulder violas

Hybrid viola H1 front Hybrid viola H2 frontHybrid viola H3 frontHybrid viola H3 back

I have always been attracted by the possibilities for developing varied models offered by violas and the challenges of balancing the wish for a rich C-string sound, a solid middle range and a strong top end with the need for an instrument that is easy to get around.

An effective solution to this is designing an instrument with indented shoulders, that make it possible to reach around a largish instrument with an upper bout width that would otherwise be only for the tall or contortionists. Some of the the other factors that play a role in achieving these powerful but playable models are bout proportions, arching, neck geometry, weight and weight distribution.

I also describe these designs as hybrid (H1, H2 and H3), because they bring together a number of design features and differ from each other.