Violas are delicate instruments, constructed out of fragile wood - so they're prone to damage at all times. Especially if you'll be traveling or moving a lot, you'll need a dedicated case to protect your instrument from shocks, impacts, and scratches. If you'll be flying a lot, it's best that you invest in a hard case for your viola or you'll end up hand-carrying your instrument at all times - even worse, one may decide to get it loaded with the rest of the luggage and get welcomed with a broken viola at the baggage claim upon your arrival. To make things a whole lot simpler and easier for you, we've put together a bunch of unrivaled viola cases of 2022, coupled with a comprehensive buyer's guide designed to cater to all your confusion and questions about the product in the crosshair. So, without any further ado, let's get you hooked up with the finest viola cases in the market.
Viola cases can be quite a task to shop for - from size differences to varying features. Not to worry, here is a guide on all you need to know to find your optimal viola case!
Difference Between a Viola Case and a Violin Case
When it comes to violas and violins, there are more similarities than differences. One, they are both stringed orchestral instruments and two, both of the instruments are played on the shoulder using a bow (they come from the same family of instruments).
However, where cases are concerned, the differences outweigh what each instrument has in common. Violas, compared to violins, are bigger in size, wider and thicker. Also, they are heavier and the bow is longer. So, their cases are made to complement such features. Although they don't come in set sizes, thorough measurement does wonders.
What to Measure on the Viola to Purchase a Suitable Viola Case
Unlike violins, violas commonly come in 4 different sizes with a 12" viola being the smallest and a 17" viola being full-sized. The challenging part is that the lengths and widths of every viola can vary. Not to worry, here are all the measurements you need to know to zero in on the perfect viola case for you.
The longest part of the viola's soundbox, the body length stretches from the button under the neck to the end button. It is usually between 14" to 17" with the majority being between 16" and 16.5" and rarely being 12".
The widest part of the viola's soundbox, the lower bout, is located near the end button and its measurement stretches the length between both its peak sides. The lower bout of a viola usually scales between 9" and 9.75" but can also exceed 10" on some larger violas.
What to Keep in Mind When in the Market for a Viola Case
Once you have measured your viola, you are well on your way to looking for the right case. But in order to pick it up, there are a few more considerations to keep in mind. We have briefed down all the priorities and extra features you need to know.
The first priority of every instrument's case is protection. Case makers usually craft the exterior shell using wood (as per tradition), fibreglass and carbon fibre.
Wooden viola cases are heavier in weight but durable, impact-protective and affordable. Fibreglass viola cases are perfect for student violists with an eye for aesthetics. Though they are heavyweight, it adds to their protective capability and they are affordable. Carbon fibre viola cases are a popular choice among expert violists mainly as they are lightweight and have a sleek structure.
For enhanced protection, make sure the viola case also includes adequate padding inside and a suspension system.
Violas are quite heavy on their own and the last thing a musician would need is added weight from the case. Luckily, case makers have constructed cases that are lightweight as well as impact-protective. Not only do the cases protect the viola, but they also keep the musician's posture in check.
Orchestral instruments like the viola are quite sensitive to temperature changes and it can affect their tone. Wooden viola cases have excellent temperature resistance and can withstand extreme climates. Polycarbonate viola cases are a great pick for violists that need a lighter weight case that can withstand heat as well.
Besides the viola's length and width measurement, its shape is also a necessary factor in deciding the right case. Viola cases are mainly constructed in three sizes: oblong, shaped and half-moon.
Oblong viola cases are a classic shape. They are spacious enough to hold sheet music pouches and shoulder rests and is mostly made of wood which is why they are also heavyweight.
Moreover, the contoured viola cases, are a travelling musician's best find for their compact structure and lightweight. Half-moon viola cases are famous for their unique shapes, oblong-like room inside to house any accessories and contoured-like lightweight.
For musicians that need a foolproof viola case that fits their instrument well, there are adjustable viola cases that feature a sliding neck cushion to help fit varying lengths of the viola. Make sure the case does not have any exposed hardware that could potentially scratch the back of the viola.
Young musicians, beginners as well as travelling violists, all need a viola case that does not break their backs and keeps their viola safe. So, manufacturers have deployed better-carrying methods, especially on heavyweight cases like wood and fibreglass. Most feature wheels, padded shoulder straps and even combination locks for convenience.
A good viola case is going to last a long time, it will move through many practice sessions and performances so why not find one with a couple of extra features. Make sure the case has a humidifier to protect the viola from humidity, extra zippered pouches for accessories and blankets to keep the viola free of rosin dust.
People Also Ask
Q: How long is a viola case?
A: It depends on the size of your viola, small-sized viola cases can fit a 14" viola and full-sized cases can fit up to 17" viola. Most viola cases are constructed to fit a 16" or a 16.5" viola which are large-sized and suitable for most adults.
Q: How much do viola cases cost?
A: Viola cases widely vary in their cost. You can find viola cases for as low as under $100 to as high as over $4000. It depends on the craftsmanship, the material used, the size and shape of the viola case. Also, the features of the viola case also add to its overall price.
Q: Are viola cases kid-friendly?
A: Yes, the smallest viola cases are made to house 12" to 14" violas which are classed as small-sized and are suitable for kids aged 9 to 12 years. Make sure the case has wheels to make travel easy and durable construction.
Within the city limits of NOLA, you may find Camilla hammering away on her 88, playing anything from old jazz to modern country music. Camilla's goal is to one day open a piano studio in New Orleans where she can teach the black and whites and other common jazz instruments to enthusiastic students. Ms. Haywood hopes to bring instruments to old and new musicians alike, reviewing pianos, orchestral instruments, and other products that make her tap her fingers to the beats.