Only slightly bigger than the violin, the viola has a smoother mellow tone. The viola sometimes shares the melody, but often provides much needed rich harmonies. In orchestra music the viola is often paired with the cello because they share the same warm tone. Similar to the Violin, the Viola is also played on your shoulder. Since the Viola is a less common instrument, it is also less competitive and there are many opportunities (like scholarships!) for Viola players.