Viol [viola da gamba, gamba] (Fr. viole; Ger. Gambe; It. viola, viola da gamba)
- Ian Woodfield
- and Lucy Robinson
A bowed string instrument with frets; in the Hornbostel-Sachs system it is classified as a bowed lute (or fiddle). It is usually played held downwards on the lap or between the legs (hence the name ‘viola da gamba’, literally ‘leg viol’). It appeared in Europe towards the end of the 15th century and subsequently became one of the most popular of all Renaissance and Baroque instruments and was much used in ensemble music (...