Viols


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Related to Viols: Basse de viole
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Viols

 

a family of bowed musical instruments. Viols had flat backs, sloping shoulders, wide fretted necks, and five to seven strings tuned in fourths with a third in the middle. They were held in a vertical position while being played.

Viols were used in Western Europe beginning in the 16th century. There were soprano, alto, and tenor viols (there was a small base viol, also called a viola da gamba, or simply gamba) and large bass and contrabass viols. The instrument had a soft and muted sound. Viols were used for solo, ensemble, and orchestral work, mostly in aristocratic circles. In the 17th century, viols began to be replaced by instruments of the violin family, which were more suited to the demands of the new musical art. At this time a variation of the viol appeared which had resonating strings—the viola bastarda, viola d’amore (or viole d’amour), and viola di bordone, or baritone.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Last night's opening concert was a case in point, Love's Alchemy from Viol and Lute group Concordia bringing to light many gems, masterpieces of technical and emotional quality in their own right, which deserve a wider public.
La proposition de loi presentee, au lendemain du suicide de la mineure Amina Filali, mariee a son violeur, par le groupe de l'Alliance socialiste - et qui devait etre adoptee a l'unanimite, mardi soir par la Chambre des Conseillers - considere que le viol constitue un crime en soi, abstraction faite de l'initiative prise par le violeur ou ses proches de demander ou non en mariage la victime.
The sonatas for two bass viols with optional continuo present players with greater difficulties but also greater rewards.
With creamy-voiced counter tenor Robin Blaze accompanied by varied batteries of viols, lute, cornett, shawms, sackbut, recorder, slide trumpet and even bagpipes, it is a colourful aural patchwork of the kind with which the late David Munrow first establi shed a popular following for early music back in the 1960s.
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The Fantasy-Suites for Four Viols. Edited by John Dornenburg.
Commenting on the success of the workshop at The Friends Meeting House, Warwick, arts society director, Richard Phillips, said: "The Rose Consort of Viols is one of Europe's finest collection of viol players and everybody who attended the workshop had a fantastic time.
Music blended with poetry is always a rare event at the festival, and Concordia, with a lovely programme of early 17th century music for the viol, which they have called Crye , produced some exquisite sounds.
They eschew the option of adding theorbo or harpsichord continuo (which Couperin, at least, thought second best to the sound of unaccompanied viols), and there is certainly no lack of fullness in the sonority.
It is an approach that works superbly with a consort of viols. The clarity of this bowed instrument, with its airy but resonant tone quality, is almost an instrumental counterpart to Dame Emma's singing style.
The 350th anniversary of the untimely death of William Lawes, at the siege of Chester during England's Civil War, was commemorated at Oxford in September 1995 with a series of lectures and concerts and a coaching course on his music for viols. The lectures, with a few exceptions, are now the essays in this volume.
Arnold Dolmetsch had greater faith in the work, and included a suite from it (performed on four viols and harpsichord) in a concert of music by William and Henry Lawes in February 1894.