mercoledì 23 aprile 2008

Viola d'Amore, mid eighteenth century; and Viola da Gamba, early eighteenth century

Viola d'Amore, mid eighteenth century and Viola da Gamba, early eighteenth century.
The Viola d'Amore (literally "love viol," probably so named for its sweetness of tone), in the foreground, was used for chamber music and solo playing in the eighteenth century. In the German tradition, as shown here, it was strung with seven bowed and seven sympathetic strings. In the background can be seen part of the neck and elaborately carved peg-box of a Viola da Gamba (or bass viol) attributed to Pieter Rombouts of Amsterdam. Such viols were constructed in various sizes, and usually had six strings, with a seventh occasionally added (as in this example) to extend the lower range. (H. Blackiston Wilkins Collection)
(Photograph by Jim Higgins)

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