Medieval Music, Viol

ViolThe viols were bowed instruments with frets. They were usually played held downwards on the lap or between the legs (the name viola da gamba translates to leg viol). The tone is quiet but with a rather distinctly nasal quality which many think makes it too restrained for dance music but an ideal instrument for polyphony where the clarity of texture is so important.

The viol played on the lap was known in Europe as early as the 11th century, and is pictured in the art of the time. After the 13th century this style of playing bowed instruments had almost completely disappeared, only to re-emerge two centuries later as the popular Renaissance viol.





Music Bladder Pipe Cornamuse Dulcian Gamba Harp Harpsichord Kortholt Lizard Lute Organetto Pipe and Tabor Psaltery Rebec Recorder Sacbut Schalmei Serpent Shawm Shofar Viol Songs