Viola Bastarda


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Viola Bastarda

 

(English, lyra viol), an old bowed instrument from the viol group. It had six playing strings variously tuned; sometimes resonating strings were added. It was used in England and Italy during the 16th and 17th centuries.

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Paras combined a background in jazz guitar improvisation with a superb viol technique and academic study of the literature for viola bastarda. His improvisations on the bass patterns of the late Renaissance remain unforgettable for anyone who heard them.
Research by Jason Paras and Veronika Gutmann, however, indicates that Monteverdi's 'genere come alla bastarda' is indeed a compositional device, namely, the imitation of the diminution-laden style associated with an instrument on which Monteverdi himself was known to have excelled, the viola bastarda. (Cf.
He goes on to note that they use a technique like that in Italian divisions for viola bastarda and "precede anything similar in English sources by about fifty years ..., [and] were almost certainly written by someone with direct experience of the Italian musical scene".