Ultimately, but I’ve got a ways to go.

Yummy.

And I wonder if I could fit it with a low F instead of a high E?

At any rate, not for a couple years. I’m prioritizing the following:

1) Geared pegs and an extended nut on Stevie.
2) 15″ viola unless the extended nut makes my life easy enough.
3) Shedloads of practice so when/if I finally get the above instrument, I won’t be a sad poser with GAS.

I’ve been curious about them for some time, but the oddball tuning sort of put me off. This one’s tuned in 5ths obviously, and I’ve got a book by Harry Danks about the viola d’amore that reviews all sorts of stuff that was written about it historically, all the way back to the 1600s. Several of the sources he quotes say that it’s usually tuned in CM or Cm, although some people tune it in 5ths. That last was all the excuse I needed to just tune the thing in 5ths (when I ultimately get one) and not apologize for being anachronistic.

My favorite tuning would of course be F-C-G-D-A, with the sympathetic strings tuned to optimize the key of what I’m playing by emphasizing the tonic, dominant, subdominant, and if the piece uses it a lot, the relative minor. So for example, if I played something in A, I’d probably tune the sympathetic strings to A, E, D, B, and an F#, likely in the order F#-A-B-D-E or A-B-D-E-F#. And I don’t know if the low F is doable, really. Even the DM d’amores are tuned only down to an A below a low C, not quite down to an F. Octave violins go down to a G, though — so maybe.

Regards GAS: I’m not unaware of the fact that I have precisely ZERO GAS when it comes to the piano. I have negative GAS about pianos. I resent expensive instruments, almost as much as the people who push them. It has not escaped me that there is probably an inverse correspondence between ability level and GAS severity. It can be very tempting to distract oneself from the work one must do in order to improve by buying junk one doesn’t need.

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