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viola da gamba

[vee-oh-luh duh gahm-buh, -gam-] /viˈoʊ lə də ˈgɑm bə, -ˈgæm-/
noun, plural viola da gambas.
an old musical instrument of the viol family, held on or between the knees: superseded by the modern violoncello; bass viol.
an organ stop of eight-foot pitch giving a stringlike tone.
Origin of viola da gamba
1590-1600; < Italian: literally, viol for the leg Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for viola da gamba
Historical Examples
  • Do you remember the lessons that you gave me on the viola da gamba?

    Evelyn Innes George Moore
  • Like the viola da gamba, it has six strings and catgut frets.

  • Amongst the latter there were several bass viols, like the viola da gamba.

    The Violoncello and Its History Wilhelm Joseph von Wasielewski
  • In the middle of the air, the viola da gamba and the flutes play by themselves.

    Handel Romain Rolland
  • A viola da gamba, with a finely-carved head representing an angel bandaging the eyes of a female.

  • You're not going to stop here all your life playing the viola da gamba.

    Evelyn Innes George Moore
  • The other bows in Fig. 26 are viola da gamba bows; the upper one I use frequently myself in certain pieces for that instrument.

  • That she played the viola da gamba very well was true enough, but what sense was there in a girl like that playing an instrument?

    Evelyn Innes George Moore
  • Violetta piccola, the smallest kind of the old viol instruments, shaped with a slanting neck like the viola da gamba.

  • The concert began with a sonata for the harpsichord and the viola da gamba, and then Evelyn sang her two songs.

    Evelyn Innes George Moore
British Dictionary definitions for viola da gamba

viola da gamba

/vɪˈəʊlə də ˈɡæmbə/
the second largest and lowest member of the viol family See viol
Word Origin
C18: from Italian, literally: viol for the leg
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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