Viola da gamba, Viol or Bowed vihuela

Six string bass
Seven string bass

Tenor viol

Treble viol

Violone in G

                   5-string Bass Violin

 Viola da Gamba, Viol or bowed vihuela


  Unlike what it is thought as an estandar nowadays, the viols did not have a prefixed shape. They could be like the modern four cornered violoncello,
 with two corners and festooned shaped, or without points in the corners, the most familiar shape for us nowadays.

            There was even a wide variety of soundholes, in form of "f", "E", "S", "the flame" or most well-known of "C".


     These are three six string bass viols with a string length of around 700 mm.

  These are  four seven string  bass viols.

    Two of them have the fingerboard and tailpiece veneered on
 ebony and on the other two that same piece is made of maple (a type of wood extensivelly used, along with some fruitwoods, to make those pieces).

    The two instruments above are based on a model by Romain Cheron and the two at the bottom, with a smaller soundbox, are based on a Bertrand model.



   Two tenor viols.

The first one with a 550mm string length, first, based on a John Rose instrument and the other one with 585 mm string length, based on a model of own design.

On the left, treble and tenor  viols from the "consort"  built  for the Bilbao Conservatorio Superior de Musica  “J.C.Arriaga”.

On the right, another treble based on the same model, varnished dark red and a solid scroll.




    This is a six string violone in G bassed on a  five stringed violone  by  Hanns Ruod Schaffer, 1692, in a private collection.

     It is an instrument from the Alemanische Schule (1), and it has its characteristic features (look at technics) . These characteristics have been considered as an archaic way of  construction, the ribs  inserted in a groove on the back , no corner blocks, with very long points to have enough  glueing surface  for the ribs and the upper block and neck  all one , as in the vihuelas or other early instruments like the ones at the Freiberg Dome (2)

    This could be an  instrument very similar to the Iberian Violone, as the musicologist Crisanto Gándara tells us in his article "El violón ibérico" (3).


    5-String Bass violin




    This is a five string bass violin based on the instrument above. It is a smaller instrument and it is tuned Bb,F,C,G.

     It is not as decorated as the violone in G. It just has a double purfling on the soundboard.

(1) Addelmann and Otterstedt. "Die Alemanische Schule. Geigenbau im 17.Jahrhundert im südlichen Schwartzwald und in der Schweitz".Berlin, Staatliches institut fúr Musikforschung Preussischer Kulturbestz, 1997.

(2) Eszter Fontana, Veit Heller, "Wenn Engel musizieren Musikinstrumente von 1594 im Freiberger Dom "

Verlag Janos Stekovics.  ISBN: 3899230671

(3)Xosé Crisanto Gándara:"El violón ibérico" Revista de Musicología, 22 (1999).