- a bowed musical instrument, differing from the violin in having deeper ribs, sloping shoulders, a greater number of strings, usually six, and frets: common in the 16th and 17th centuries in various sizes from the treble viol to the bass viol.
Origin of viol
Examples from the Web for viol
Historical Examples of viol
He scorned the new invention but warmly upheld the lute and viol.How the Piano Came to Be
Ellye Howell Glover
Significant then, that he worshipped "the viol, the violet, and the vine" of Poe.Adventures in the Arts
In Greece and Albania, however, the viol would seem not to be used.The Science of Fairy Tales
Edwin Sidney Hartland
The artist is seen in the foreground playing a viol: Titian a bass viol.The Story of Paris
He says, "There is no hint where the Viol kind came first in use."The Violin
- any of a family of stringed musical instruments that preceded the violin family, consisting of a fretted fingerboard, a body rather like that of a violin but having a flat back and six strings, played with a curved bow. They are held between the knees when played and have a quiet yet penetrating tone; they were much played, esp in consorts, in the 16th and 17th centuries
Word Origin for viol
musical instrument, late 15c., viel, from Middle French viole, from Old French, from Old Provençal viola (see viola).