The vielle // is a European bowed stringed instrument used in the Medieval period, similar to a modern violin but with a somewhat longer and deeper body, five (rather than four) 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
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.
- “fiddle,” Encyclopædia Britannica, from Encyclopædia Britannica Online: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/206069/fiddle (retrieved March 06, 2009)
- Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Vielle". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
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