5-String Violas, Octolas & Pellegrinas

5-string violas offer the unique opportunity to in a sense play two instruments at once.  Though extremely rare, they are growing in popularity and we are planning on expanding our stock.  They are ideal for players of both violin and viola who need to use both instruments within the same performance.  You will be surprised at the quality of tone on the E string, as well as how quickly you can adapt to playing with 5 strings!

Even rarer than 5 stringed instruments are octolas, which are often collectors items.  Similarly rare are pellegrinas, violas with enlarged upper and lower bouts.  A pellegrina has the air volume of a much larger viola; its powerful sound is achieved by a wider as opposed to a longer body. Smaller violists love pellegrinas as they produce a sound comparable to a very large viola, but have a string length similar to a violin.

Call 02920 227761 to book an appointment.   You will be free to explore our instruments for as long as you need in one of our trying out rooms.  Staff are available for guidance and to perform the instrumens if you wish (most are college students or play professionally).

The instruments below are for illustrative purposes only, please call 02920 227761 to enquire about availability.

DON TATEM 5-STRING VIOLA: EVITA

This viol pattern 5-string viola is finished with a rich dark red varnish. Its distinctive sloping shoulders allow for ease of access to the upper registers on the E string, whilst retaining a warm depth of tone in the bass.

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DON TATEM 5-STRING VIOLA: QUINTUS

The small dimension of this viola make it ideal for a violinist looking for an additional string, as well as a larger range of notes, colours, tones and sensations!

Definitely one to try. Sound production is effortless!

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DON TATEM: TONUVENNA

Another charming 5 string viola from Don Tatem with an astonishingly consistent tone across its 5 strings.

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DON TATEM 5-STRING VIOLA: APHALIA

Lovely bright sound in the treble and warm in the bass.  To book a viewing or for more information please call 02920 227761.

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DON TATEM OCTOLA

Another unusual instrument from Don Tatem! Highly recommended for collectors of unique instruments and experimental musicians.

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DON TATEM PELLEGERINA: SIAN

The same string length as a violin with the air volume of a 16 inch viola.  An excellent choice for smaller violists who need a powerful instrument. 

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DON TATEM PELLEGRINA: ORION

Another finely made instrument from Don Tatem, priced very modestly as is typical for his instruments.  Orion was made in 2007 and is an excellent investment for both musicians and collectors.

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DON TATEM PELLEGRINA: BELLA

A third pellegrina from the extraordinarily prolific local maker, Don Tatem!  A truly fitting name, this instruments delights the eyes as much as the ears.

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