One of the first stringed bow instruments was the viola. As a separate family, they arose in the 15th century. Violas are characterized by a soft matte timbre of weak strength. They are represented by several varieties: alto, treble, double bass, tenor. Each subgroup is characterized by its size and, accordingly, the pitch. Viols are usually kept upright, on your knees or between them.
Appearing in the 15th century, the violin quickly gained popularity throughout Europe, thanks to its powerful sound and virtuoso capabilities. In the Italian city of Cremona, whole families of violin masters appeared whose violins are still considered the standard. These are the well-known surnames of Stradivarius, Amati, Guarneri, who formed the so-called Cremona school. Today, playing the Stradivarius violin is a great honor for the most famous musicians of the whole world.
Following the violin, other bowed instruments appeared - viola, double bass, cello. They are similar in timbre and shape, but differ in size. The pitch will depend on the length of the strings and the size of the body: double bass gives a low note, and the violin sounds at least two octaves higher.
According to the outlines, stringed bowed instruments resemble a viola, only with more elegant forms and round “shoulders”. The double bass stands out among them, which make "sloping" shoulders to allow the musician to reach the strings.