Medieval Music, Gamba (bass viol da gamba)

The most common viol has six strings and is tuned in the interval of fourths with a third in the middle. It has a long tail, fretted finger board (like the modern guitar), a flat back, sloping shoulders, and deep sides with reinforcing crossbars inside.

A carved head often adorns the top of the instrument. The viol has the shape of a dismembered female body, and when held between the legs in playing position, as in the case of the bass viol, a type of play may be imagined that is not strictly musical.





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