Follow us on Facebook

Octolas & Pellegrinas

Pellegrinas are 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.

Octolas have a more conventional appearance than pellegrinas, but are tuned in a very unusual way.  The lower three pairs of strings are tuned one octave apart, to C, G, and D, with the top two strings tuned to A in unison

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 instruments 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.


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.

View more…


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.

View more…


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

View more…