from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A medieval stringed instrument similar to a violin.
- n. The hurdy-gurdy.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. An old stringed instrument played upon with a wheel; a hurdy-gurdy.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. One of the large early forms of the medieval viol.
- n. Same as hurdy-gurdy, 1.
Among these were a diminutive harp, which was laid on the table while being played, the fiddle, also called vielle or viola (prototypes of our violin), the very ancient crwth, crowd or chrotta (an instrument having originally three, but later five strings, now obsolete), and the hurdy-gurdy.
She told me the instrument was called the vielle, in fact -- our old English viol; a very ancient instrument, which is represented as being played by one of the minstrels sculptured on the east front of Launceston Parish
A few moments of faulty tuning and uneven articulation aside (not to be confused with the pungent harmonies and piquant effects written into this music), the ensemble's two instrumentalists -- medieval-harpist Constance Whiteside (the group's artistic director) and violinist Craig Resta, who played here on the arrestingly throaty precursor to the violin, the medieval vielle -- both did sterling and vividly atmospheric work.
The painting portrays Renaissance instruments with great accuracy: a tenor or alto shawm, a precursor of the English horn; a Gothic harp; a brass trumpet; a portative organ; a vielle, an early form of violin; a soprano or treble shawm, a distant forerunner of the oboe; a lute; three recorders; a dulcimer being struck by a light hammer; and a harp.
Unrelated story: When I was a bride in Quebec, using my school French and learning the local patois, my brother in law coached me in the following exchange while we were all dancing at a vielle:
Je suis une parente de 2 petite filles, et la plus vielle fille a commence la maternelle cet autumne!
Soprano Sarah Barnes, Tobie Miller (recorder/hurdy- gurdy), Emilie Brule (vielle) and Esteban La Rotta (lute/harp) will play examples of their specialty, the rarely heard virtuosic secular music of Medieval France.
Lead instruments like the psaltery (an early harp) and the vielle (a primitive violin with a characteristically scraping tone) are played over plucked-string rhythm instruments like the oud, rebab, and saz.
Ensemble La Rota, comprising Barnes, Tobie Miller (soprano vocals, hurdy-gurdy, recorder), tenor Esteban LaRotta (chitarino, harp) and Emilie Brule (vielle) approached the music from the point of view of working musicians.
As she moved to the second verse, Brule joined in on the vielle a sort of fiddle with roughly the range of a viola.
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