Show Summary Details

Page of

Printed from Oxford Music Online. Grove is a registered trademark. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a single article for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 17 May 2021

Lyra viol [leero, leerow, liera, lyro]locked

  • Frank Traficante

Extract

[leero, leerow, liera, lyro]

A small bass Viol popular in England during the 17th century. As an instrument it differed little from the standard consort bass viol. Its importance rests on the large, specialized and musically valuable repertory which was written for it.

Of great historical significance is the position which the lyra viol holds as the connecting link between two aesthetic ideals of instrumental sound and function. It could approximate to the polyphonic textures and self-accompaniment capabilities which helped to raise continuo instruments such as the harpsichord and lute to a high level of esteem during the late 16th and early 17th centuries. On the other hand, it could also produce a rich singing line, the growing taste for which led to the predominance of the violin and the solo voice by the beginning of the 18th century. During its period of popularity the lyra viol successfully performed both roles. At the beginning of the 17th century Hume wrote (to the chagrin of Dowland) that the viol could produce equally well the musical excellencies of the lute. By the turn of the century Roger North was writing that ‘all the sublimitys of the violin’ were to be found in the music of the viol....

You do not currently have access to this article

Login

Please login to access the full content.

Subscribe

Please subscribe to access the full content.

Journal of the American Musicological Society
Oxford, Bodleian Library
London, British Library
Lute Society Journal
R.M.A. [Royal Musical Association] Research Chronicle
Die Musikforschung
Manchester, Central Library, Henry Watson Music Library
Acta musicologica
Journal of the Viola da Gamba Society of America
Los Angeles, University of California at Los Angeles, William Andrews Clark Memorial Library
Journal of the Lute Society of America