Nursery Rhymes


Medieval life and Times

Definition and Description of the Vielle
Definition and description of the Vielle: The Vielle can be described as a bowed string instrument, equivalent to the fiddle with 5 strings. A popular string instrument with troubadours and jongleurs. The body was carved out of a single piece of wood about 16 inches long. The Vielle was from France and is now obsolete.

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

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