Viola Resource List

October 12th, 2021 by Emily Dittman


Disclaimer – this list provides a broad range of resources for teachers and students of viola. It’s possible that this list can also later be able to be made available on the AUSTA and/or the Australian New Zealand viola society websites and updated from time to time. The exclusion of any resource does not imply that it is not recommended. – Helen Tuckey and Robyn Brookfield, October 2021

Download this list here (140KB)

1 Learning the alto clef


“Tenor Tutor” (Covers Alto Clef as well as Tenor Clef) This App teaches basic note recognition and music theory, using a Flash Card form.

“Flashnote Derby” teaches note reading in any clef. Use settings to adjust to reading capacity of student, can be for any age 3 and up. As well as naming a note by alphabet letter on the screen, users can also develop the ability to find the alto clef note on a virtual piano keyboard, or by playing the note on the viola. Child-friendly and fun presentation.

“Staff Wars” note reading in any clef – teenage and adults, progressively rewards speedy recognition.

Viola theory books


(an Australian series of books by Lorraine Chai for all strings – see website for resources) – Ensemble series for older students, Mini for younger (contains stickers😃)

All for Strings Theory Workbooks 1 & 2

(using nomenclature from USA)

2 Technique

Roger Benedict  “Scale Up!” A new scales method for viola. Partitura 2019

Mary Cohen “Viola Quick Change!”  Clef switching for viola made easy. Faber 1996

Freda Dinn “A Viola Method” from the third to the first position. Schott 1975

Simon Fischer “Warming Up” complete warm-up sequence for the viola. FMP 2011

Simon Fischer “Tone” experimenting with proportions on the viola. FMP 2019

Harvey S Whistler “From Violin to Viola” a transitional method. Rubank – Hal Leonard

3 Books

General Reference:

Barrett, H. The viola: Complete guide for teachers and students (Uni of Alabama 1996)

Bynog, David M. Notes for violists: a guide to the repertoire OUP 2021

Dolejší, Robert Modern Viola Technique. DaCapo Press (1939) ISBN 0-306-70552-4

Yehudi Menuhin and William Primrose Violin and Viola. Macdonald and Janes ISBN 0 356 047164

Nelson, S. The violin and the viola (London, Benn 1972)

Riley, Maurice The History of the Viola (2 volumes, out of print, second hand or library copies)


Violist autobiographies

Emma Ayres  “Cadence” Travels with Music – A memoir. ABC Books 2014
ABC journalist, broadcaster and one time professional violist in Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra

William Primrose “Walk on the North Side. Memoirs of a violist” ISBN 0-8425-1813-2

Lionel Tertis “Cinderella no more” Published by Peter Nevill Ltd (1953)

Lionel Tertis “My Viola and I. A complete Autobiography. With Beauty of Tone in String Playing and other essays” Paul Elek London 1974 ISBN  0 236 31040 2

Bernard Zaslav. “The viola in my life. An alto rhapsody” (Book and CD) ISBN 978-0-8314-0096-5


Violist biographies

Lillian Fuchs – Amédée Daryl Williams “First lady of the viola” ISBN 0-595-30957-7

William Primrose “Playing the Viola. Conversations with William Primrose” David Dalton OUP ISBN 0-19-816 195-6

Lionel Tertis “The First Great Virtuoso of the Viola – Lionel Tertis” by John White ISBN 184383278X 9 781843 832782


4 Graded Repertoire Books (sheet music)

AMEB Viola Repertoire Books (Preliminary to Grade 6)    Published AMEB
A New Tune a Day for Viola   Boston Music Company

A New Tune a Day Performance Pieces for Viola Boston Music Company

My First Pieces, My Next Pieces. Stephen Chin. Everything String.

Royal Conservatory Viola Series (Frederick Harris Music, Canada)

Levels P – 8 repertoire books with CDs, plus books of grade etudes, technique and orchestral excerpts)
Suzuki Viola School  (9 Volumes)  Summy-Birchard
Solos for Young Violists. Barbara Barber (5 Volumes) Summy-Birchard


5 Sight Reading

Improve your Sight Reading for Viola Grades 1- 5  Paul Harris  Faber Music

Viola Sight-Reading 1 & 2 Kember & Wilkinson Schott

Treble Clef for Violists (reading studies integrating both clefs) Elizabeth Stuen-Walker

Many method books and pop albums for viola come in many genres with backing tracks that are great for sight reading practice. The Vamoosh! books by Thomas Gregory are a good example.

A website for practice samples at all levels is


6 Studies and Etudes written originally for viola from many eras:

(additionally, many violin study resources are also transcribed for viola)

Atar Arad 12 Caprices

Bruni 25 Studies
Campagnoli 41 Caprices
Lillian Fuchs 15 Characteristic Studies, 16 Fantasy Etudes, 12 Caprices
Hoffmeister  12 Etudes
Michael Kimber – numerous, see his website

Palashko 12 Studies op 55

Jorge Variego 18 + 3, see his website

Maurice Vieux

20 Études, 10 Études sur les traits d’orchestre, 10 Études sur les intervalles


7 Viola websites:

Send email to with your name, mobile phone number and state to join Helen’s independent Australia/New Zealand viola email list


8 List of violists:


9 Contemporary violists websites – violists who perform, compose and more:


10 Repertoire resources

(In addition to the wonderful historic resources on imslp, it’s important to support composers and publishers of contemporary music. Examination bodies such as AMEB and ABRSM, education organisations and some viola society sites also have graded repertoire lists.)

The Australian Music Centre

Primrose International Viola Archive:

American Viola society:

VlaTutti – some free and some paid fascinating viola resources

New England fiddle tunes for viola (free):

Gems Music Publications:

Viola World Publications:

Absolute Zero Viola Quartet:


A bouquet of viola listening links: