viol

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viol

viol, family of bowed stringed instruments, the most important ensemble instruments from the 15th to the 17th cent. The viol's early history is indefinite, but it is recognizable in depictions from as early as the 11th cent. During the second half of the 17th cent. it lost its dominant position to the violin family and became practically extinct until the general revival of interest in early music and instruments in the 20th cent. The viol differs from the violin in the manner of playing, in its shape, and in having frets and typically six strings, tuned in fourths with one third, rather than in fifths. Most viols are properly played upright, resting on or between the knees, with the bow held with the palm upward. The viol usually has sloping shoulders, a flat back, and deeper ribs than the violin. It is a chamber instrument with a soft, sweet tone, incapable of the dynamic extremes and brilliance of the violin; this helps to account for its decline. The viol was built in four principal sizes—treble, alto, tenor, and bass—which were used in ensemble, or “consort.” The double-bass viol, or violone, survived all the others, becoming, with some modification, the present double bass. The bass viol was the principal solo instrument of the family, possessing a large literature from the 16th to the 18th cent. It later became known as viola da gamba [Ital.,=leg viol]—originally the name of the whole family, to distinguish them from those of the viola da bracchio (arm viol) family, the forerunners of the violin. The viola d'amore, a member of the viol family, originated in the 17th cent. and was especially popular in the 18th cent. It has from five to seven strings, tuned in thirds and fourths, and an equal number of sympathetic strings running through the bridge and under the fingerboard. Unlike most viols, it is held, like the violin, under the chin. It was and is principally a solo instrument, possessing a modest literature from all periods, including the 20th cent.
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viol

any of a family of stringed musical instruments that preceded the violin family, consisting of a fretted fingerboard, a body rather like that of a violin but having a flat back and six strings, played with a curved bow. They are held between the knees when played and have a quiet yet penetrating tone; they were much played, esp in consorts, in the 16th and 17th centuries
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Ranges: Soprano, [C.sub.4]-[G.sub.5]; Bass, [D.sub.2]-[C.sub.4] Recorder, viola d'amore, gamba, b.c.
The next offering featured Tenenbaum playing the Concerto in D Minor for Viola D'amore, RV 395.
We invite everyone to join us tomorrow at the Qatar National Theatre for a journey into the unique and mesmerising sound of this gifted artiste and his quartet." Youssef specialises in the classical violin and viola d'amore, with his work heavily influenced by the Arabic maqam.
Her voice was like that of a viola d'amore. The Luhacovice Slanice was in the scorching heat of the August sun.
His viola d'amore concertos were written to exploit not only the silvery tone- qualities of the instrument, with its set of sympathetic strings, but also its capabilities for playing multiple stopped chords.
The preface lists Graupner's many unpublished concertos; more interesting than those selected might have been the several works notable for their extremely unusual scorings, including various combinations of viola d'amore, oboe d'amore, flauto d'amore, and bass chalumeau.
These range from early articles on music criticism, the necessity of experimentation, and the viola d'amore, to lectures whose ideas are closely related to his well-known books A Composer's World and The Craft of Musical Composition, to an extended lecture given only five months before his death in December 1963.
In the earliest years, these were often archaic string instruments, especially the viola da gamba and viola d'amore. The viola d'amore received compositions by Paul Hindemith (who also performed on the instrument), Hans Pfitzner, Frank Martin, Cyril Scott, Matyas Seiber, and numerous others, including Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari, whose duo for viola d'amore and gamba (op.
The only other instrument of early interest was a viola d'amore with a short head with seven small pegs for the bowed strings (all with modern screw fittings on the tailpiece) and six sympathetic strings tuned with a rectangular clock or harpsichord key at the back of the scroll.
As well as the multi-instrument concerto RV558 (pairs of mandolins, theorbos, chalumeaux, recorders, violins 'in tromba marina', and a solo cello -- a study in tonal contrasts indeed!), the two trios for lute with violin and continuo, RV85 and 82 (performed most successfully with archlute), the two mandolin concertos (RV425, a solo concerto played by Dulio Galfetti, perhaps my favourite thing on the disc, and RV532), there are the two concertos for the lute, RV540 with viola d'amore (whose last movement shares thematic material with RV558, perhaps intentionally, since both were composed and performed in Venice in 1740 for the delight of the Crown Prince of Saxony, the son of Weiss's employer in Dresden), and the D major solo concerto, RV93.