Vihuela(redirected from vihuelas de arco)
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in Spain, the general name for a family of stringed instruments, used with additional specific designations: vihuela de arco (fiddle in the 13th-15th centuries, viola de gamba in the 16th century); vihuela de pendula (quitara battente up to the 15th century, now the common guitar); and vihuela de mano (arm viol), a plucked instrument similar to the guitar in shape and playing method but with a slightly protuberant back. The vihuela had five to seven strings and was used for accompaniment and solo work. Performance on the vihuela de mano reached its peak in the 16th and 17th centuries.