Violon vs Violin: What's the Difference?

Whether you're a music lover, a musician, or just someone who's curious about musical instruments, you might be wondering what the differences are between a violon and a violin. In this article, we'll explore the key characteristics of each instrument, their histories, and the various ways they're used in music.

History of the Violon and Violin

The violin and the violon (also known as the viola da gamba) are both stringed instruments with similar structures, but they have different histories. The violin has been around since the early 16th century, while the violon dates back to the Renaissance era and was popular in Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries.

While the violin was used primarily in classical music, the violon was often played in chamber music and other small ensembles. Over time, the popularity of the violon waned as the violin gained in popularity.

Size and Shape

One of the key differences between violons and violins is their size and shape. Violins are typically smaller and more compact than violons, which are larger and have a more elongated shape. This difference in size and shape affects the way the instruments are played and the sound they produce.


Another key difference between violons and violins is the type of strings they use. Violons typically have six strings, while violins have four. The strings on a violon are also thicker and more widely spaced than those on a violin, which affects the way the instruments are tuned and played.


The tuning of a violon and a violin is also different. While violins are typically tuned to the notes G, D, A, and E, violons are tuned to C, G, D, A, E, and B (or F). This difference in tuning affects the range of notes that can be played on each instrument.

Playing Techniques

Because of their different sizes and shapes, violons and violins also require different playing techniques. Violons are typically played while sitting down, and the bow is held underhand. Violins, on the other hand, are played while standing or sitting, and the bow is held overhand.


The sound produced by a violon is typically deeper and richer than that of a violin. This is due in part to the thicker strings and larger body of the violon. Violins, on the other hand, produce a brighter, more piercing sound that is well-suited for solo performances and orchestral music.


Both violins and violons are used in a wide range of musical genres, from classical to folk music. Violins are typically used in orchestras, chamber ensembles, and as solo instruments. Violons, on the other hand, are often used in small ensembles and as accompaniment to singing.

Advantages and Disadvantages

There are pros and cons to playing both violons and violins. Violon players often enjoy the deeper, richer sound of the instrument, as well as its versatility in different musical genres. However, the larger size and heavier weight of the violon can make it more difficult to play for extended periods of time.

Violin players, on the other hand, enjoy the brighter, more piercing sound of the instrument, as well as its portability and ease of use. However, the smaller size of the violin can make it more difficult to play complex pieces, and the thinner strings can be more prone to breaking.


So, which is better - a violon or a violin? The answer, of course, depends on your personal preferences and the style of music you enjoy playing. Both instruments have their strengths and weaknesses, and both can be incredibly rewarding to play. Whether you're a seasoned musician or just starting out, the violin and the violon are both worthy of your consideration.

If you're interested in renting a violon or a violin for your next musical performance, be sure to check out for great deals on high-quality instruments.

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