March 12, 2014 by mrcaseyhistory
Enjoy these dance tunes from the Middle Ages played by Barry Hall on the vielle. The vielle is a medieval fiddle, an ancestor of the modern violin. Vielles are more primitive in design than violins – they use plain gut strings and have a flat soundboard and back, rather than the arched top and back used on more modern instruments. When these instruments were popular, there was very little standardization of size, shape, number of strings, or tuning. This particular instrument has five strings and is similar in size to a viola.