Nursery Rhymes

Viol

Medieval life and Times

Definition and Description of the Viol
Definition and description of the Viol: The Viol can be described as being played with a bow and held on the lap or between the legs. Description: A stringed musical instrument formerly in use, of the same form as the violin, but larger, and having six strings, to be struck with a bow, and the neck furnished with frets for stopping the strings.

The name is now applied as a general term to designate instruments of the violin kind, as tenor viol, bass viol, etc.

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

Medieval Musical Instruments - Viol
Medieval Musical instruments, including the Viol, 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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