Monday, July 2, 2018

Origins of the Violin - The Vielle

The vielle appears in 13th century France and differs from the rebec significantly. There are now 5 strings, the body is much larger and closer in shape to the modern violin with ribs to enable greater flexibility when bowed. It is worth noting that the name vielle came later to refer to a different instrument--vielle à rue (vielle à roue)--or as it is more commonly known now--hurdy gurdy.



The vielle /viˈɛl/ is a European bowed stringed instrument used in the Medieval period, similar to a modern violin but with a somewhat longer and deeper body, three to five gut strings, and a leaf-shaped pegbox with frontal tuning pegs, sometimes with a figure-8 shaped body.

The instrument was also known as a fidel or a viuola, although the French name for the instrument, vielle, is generally used. It was one of the most popular instruments of the medieval period, and was used by troubadours and jongleurs from the 13th through the 15th centuries. The vielle possibly derived from the lira, a Byzantine bowed instrument closely related to the rebab, an Arab bowed instrument. There are many medieval illustrations of different types of vielles in manuscripts, sculptures and paintings. Starting in the middle or end of the 15th century, the word vielle was used to refer to the hurdy-gurdy, as a shortened form of its name: vielle à roue ("vielle with a wheel").

Several modern groups of musicians have formed into bands to play early music (pre-Baroque), and they sometimes include vielles, or modern reproductions, in their ensembles, together with other instruments such as rebecs and saz.

Resonance Requires Air-Dried Tonewood

The Terrier by Mando Mo air-dried 3-5 years There are several schools of thought as to what makes a good tonewood. But in the end, a ma...