Nursery Rhymes

Rebec

Medieval life and Times

Definition and Description of the Rebec
Definition and description of the Rebec: The Rebec can be described as an instrument with a round pear-shaped body, much like an early violin. It was an instrument with a round form having three strings, and being played with a bow. Also spelt as 'rebeck'. According to the Medieval author Geoffrey Chaucer the word 'rebec' was also contemptuous term applied to an old woman.

Family of Instruments: The Rebec belongs to the family of String instruments.

Medieval Musical Instruments - Rebec
Medieval Musical instruments, including the Rebec, would be used by the musicians of the period including the Waits, Minstrels or Troubadours. There were three categories of musical instruments in the Middle Ages - wind, string and percussion. Terms of description were Bas instruments and Haut instruments. Bas referred to soft instruments (literally, "low," but referring to volume, not pitch) which were suitable for the chamber which included the vielle, rebec and other bowed strings, the lute and other plucked strings. Haut referred to loud instruments (literally "high" but referring to volume, not to pitch) which were suitable for outdoors which included the shawm, sackbut, pipe and tabor.

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