A glorious stringed instrument that creates a rich, warm tone when played, unlike the violin which can sound like someone is strangling a cat -- sometimes several cats. Either orchestras have barely any violas, or so many they have no idea what to do with all of them.
Hey, how big is your viola section?
About fifteen, this year.
Good, maybe you can drown out the violins. How many of them are there?
Yes! We're coming up!