The Viola Toeira is from the Beira coast, a region to the north of Estremadura, south of the Douro Coast, and west of both Beira Alta and Beira Baixa. It is common in Coimbra where for a long period it was the instrument favored by university students until the appearance of the Portuguese guitar in around 1850. Usually played, as with the cavaquinho, with the rasgueado technique that accompanies dancing and singing in the rural context of the Beira, it is found as much among the commoners as in the salons and theatres, although it is often associated with a salon repertoire of modinhas and minuetos. The Toeira is a small guitar with an oval soundhole, its fingerboard flush with the top. The bridge may feature a leaf motif glued to each side, with perhaps some inlay decoration beneath the bridge in the shape of a flower with leaves, but this is by no means standard. As with nearly all violas, the bridge is in two parts: the strings run first over a thin piece of wood which acts as a floating saddle sitting directly on the soundboard, then pass through holes in the glued-on bridge, and are finally turned back and looped around pins or screws on top of the bridge. Its 12 strings are distributed in 5 courses, the top three being double and the lower two triple. The tuning is similar to the baroque guitar and chitarra battente: A3A3A2 D4D4D3 G3 B3 E4, from low to high.