Vivaldi Viola Da Gamba

In fact, it now seems clear from recent research that the viola da gamba had not entirely disappeared in Italy: Vivaldi was introduced to the viol by his father Giovanni Battista Vivaldi (the latter being employed at the Ospedale dei mendicanti in Venice, which boasted a consort of seven viols). The viol (/ ˈ v aɪ ə l /), viola da gamba (Italian: ˈvjɔːla da (ɡ)ˈɡamba), or informally gamba, is any one of a family of bowed, fretted and stringed instruments with hollow wooden bodies and pegboxes where the tension on the strings can be increased or decreased to adjust the pitch of each of the strings. Frets on the viol are usually made of gut, tied on the fingerboard around the. A direct link from the viola da gamba to the composer himself passed via his father, Giovanni Battista Vivaldi (c.1655–1736), who from 1689 to 1693 served the Ospedale dei Mendicanti (one of Venice’s four great charitable institutions, all of which boasted choirs and orchestras recruited exclusively from their female residents) as its.

Viola d'amore
String instrument
Other namesviole d'amour
Hornbostel–Sachs classification321.322-71
(Composite chordophone sounded by a bow)
Playing range
Related instruments
  • Viol (viola da gamba)
  • Violin
    • Violin octet instruments

Vivaldi Viola Da Gambarnya

The viola d'amore (pronounced [ˈvjɔːla daˈmoːre]; Italian for 'viol of love') is a 7- or 6-stringedmusical instrument with sympathetic strings used chiefly in the baroque period. It is played under the chin in the same manner as the violin.[1]

Structure and sound[edit]

1997 Viola d’amore, crafted by Eric, Nancy and Hans Benning, Benning Violins.

The viola d'amore shares many features of the viol family. It looks like a thinner treble viol without frets and sometimes with sympathetic strings added.[2] The six-string viola d'amore and the treble viol also have approximately the same ambitus or range of playable notes. Like all viols, it has a flat back. An intricately carved head at the top of the peg box is common on both viols and viola d'amore, although some viols lack one. Unlike the carved heads on viols, the viola d'amore's head occurs most often as Cupid blindfolded to represent the blindness of love. Its sound-holes are commonly in the shape of a flaming sword known as 'The Flaming Sword of Islam' (suggesting the instrument's development was influenced by the Islamic World). This was one of the three usual sound hole shapes for viols as well.[3] It is unfretted, and played much like a violin, being held horizontally under the chin. It is about the same size as the modern viola.

The viola d'amore usually has six or seven playing strings, which are sounded by drawing a bow across them, just as with a violin. In addition, it has an equal number of sympathetic strings located below the main strings and the fingerboard which are not played directly but vibrate in sympathy with the notes played. A common variation is six playing strings, and instruments exist with as many as fourteen sympathetic strings alone. Despite the fact that the sympathetic strings are now thought of as the most characteristic element of the instrument, early forms of the instrument almost uniformly lacked them. The first unambiguous reference to a viola d'amore without sympathetic strings does not occur until the 1730s. Both types continued to be built and played through the 18th century.[4]

Largely thanks to the sympathetic strings, the viola d'amore has a particularly sweet and warm sound. Leopold Mozart, writing in his Versuch einer gründlichen Violinschule, said that the instrument sounded 'especially charming in the stillness of the evening.'

The first known mention of the name viol d'amore appeared in John Evelyn's Diary (20 November 1679): 'for its swetenesse & novelty the Viol d'Amore of 5 wyre-strings, plaid on with a bow, being but an ordinary violin, play'd on Lyra way by a German, than which I never heard a sweeter Instrument or more surprizing..'

Vivaldi Viola Da Gamba


As on the treble viol, the register above the octave (d) on the top string would seldom be used. The viola d'amore was normally tuned specifically for the piece it was to play - cf. scordatura. Towards the end of the 18th century the standard tuning became: A, d, a, d', f', a', d'.


The bridge on an early 18th-century instrument, showing both sets of strings.

The instrument was especially popular in the late 17th century, although a specialised viola d'amore player would have been highly unusual, since it was customary for professional musicians to play a number of instruments, especially within the family of the musician's main instrument. Later, the instrument fell from use, as the volume and power of the violin family became preferred over the delicacy and sweetness of the viol family. However, there has been renewed interest in the viola d'amore in the last century. The viola players Henri Casadesus and Paul Hindemith both played the viola d'amore in the early 20th century, and the film composer Bernard Herrmann made use of it in several scores. It may be noted that, like instruments of the violin family, the modern viola d'amore was altered slightly in structure from the baroque version, mainly to support the extra tension of steel wound strings.

Leoš Janáček originally planned to use the viola d'amore in his second string quartet, 'Intimate Letters'. The use of the instrument was symbolic of the nature of his relationship with Kamila Stösslová, a relationship that inspired the work. However, the version with viola d'amore was found in rehearsal to be impracticable, and Janáček re-cast the part for a conventional viola.[5]Sergei Prokofiev's ballet Romeo and Juliet features a viola d'amore as well.

The viola d'amore can regularly be heard today in musical ensembles that specialise in historically informed performances of Baroque music on authentic instruments.

Scordatura notation[edit]

The head of an early 18th-century instrument, featuring blindfolded Love.

Scordatura notation was first used in the late seventeenth century as a way to quickly read music for violin with altered tunings. It was a natural choice for viola d'amore and other stringed instruments not tuned in the usual fifths, especially those whose intervals between strings are not uniform across their range. Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber, Antonio Vivaldi and Johann Joseph Vilsmayr (a student of Biber), among others, wrote pieces for violin with one or more strings retuned to notes other than the usual fifths. Given that the viola d’amore was usually played by violinists and that many different tunings were used, scordatura notation made it easier for a violinist to read the music.

Scordatura notation exists in a number of different types. Treble clef, alto clef and soprano clefs are all used by different composers. Bass clef is typically used for notes on the lower two or three strings (6 or 7 string instruments) and usually sounds an octave higher than written. In scordatura, one imagines that one is playing a violin (or in some cases a viola, where alto clef is used) tuned in the normal fifths. Scordatura notation informs the player not about what note will sound but rather about where they should place their fingers; therefore, it may be referred to as a tablature or 'finger' notation.

In Biber's Harmonia Artificiosa no. VII, a different version of scordatura notation is used. Biber uses a nine line staff. The clefs used are based on alto clef (imagining that you are playing a viola). The piece is written for a six-stringed instrument. The upper part of the staff supposes that you are playing on the upper four strings and the lower part that you are playing on the lower four strings (still imagining that you are reading the four strings of a viola in alto clef). This does mean that there are two ways of notating notes on the middle two strings but it quickly becomes apparent, when playing, what the correct reading should be.

Viola da gamba strings


Baroque period
  • Heinrich Biber (1644–1704)
Partita VII for two viole d'amore and basso continuo, from Harmonia artificiosa - ariosa, 1696.
  • Christian Pezold (1677-1733)
2 Partitas for solo viola d'amore
  • Attilio Ariosti (1666–1729)
6 Lessons for viola d'amore and continuo
15 Sonatas
used in 2 cantatas
used as an obbligato instrument in the opera, 'Marte Placato'
  • Antonio Vivaldi (1678–1741)
Concerto in D major, RV 392, P.166
Concerto in D minor, RV 393, P.289
Concerto in D minor, RV 394, P.288
Concerto in D minor, RV 395, P.287
Concerto in A major, RV 396, P.233
Concerto in A minor, RV 397, P.37
Concerto in D minor for viola d'amore and lute, RV 540
Concerto da Camera in F major for viola d'amore, 2 oboes, 2 horns, bassoon, continuo, RV 97
Vivaldi also used the viola d'amore as an obbligato instrument in sacred works and operas:[6]
Nisi Dominus, RV 608 Gloria Patri
Nisi Dominus, RV 803 Nisi Dominus
Tito Manlio, RV 738 Tu dormi in tante pene
Juditha Triumphans, 644 Quanto magis generosa
  • Christoph Graupner (1683–1760)
Concerto in D major for viola d'amore, strings and continuo, GWV 314
Concerto in F major for flute, viola d'amore, chalumeau, strings and continuo, GWV 327
Concerto in D major for flauto d'amore, oboe d'amore, viola d'amore, strings and continuo, GWV 333
Concerto in g minor for viola d'amore, strings and continuo, GWV 336
Concerto in A major for viola, viola d'amore, strings and continuo, GWV 339
Concerto in B major for chalumeau, viola d'amore, oboe, strings and continuo, GWV 343
Ouverture in D major for oboe d'amore, viola d'amore, strings and continuo, GWV 419
Ouverture in D minor for bassoon, viola d'amore, strings and continuo, GWV 426
Ouverture in D major for viola d'amore, strings and continuo, GWV 427
Ouverture in E major for viola d'amore, strings and continuo, GWV 438
Ouverture in F major for flute, viola d'amore, chalumeau, strings and continuo, GWV 450
Ouverture in F major for flute, viola d'amore, 2 chalumeaux, strings and continuo, GWV 451
Ouverture in G major for viola d'amore, strings and continuo, GWV 459
Ouverture in G major for viola d'amore, strings and continuo, GWV 460
Ouverture in G major for viola d'amore, bassoon, strings and continuo, GWV 465
Ouverture in A major for viola d'amore, strings and continuo, GWV 476
Ouverture in A major for flute, viola d'amore, oboe, bassoon, strings and continuo, GWV 477
Sinfonia in F major for soli viola d'amore, cello and bassoon, 3 violas and basso continuo, GWV 577
Trio Sonata in B major for flute, viola d'amore and continuo, GWV 217
Trio Sonata in C major for flute, viola d'amore and continuo, GWV 202
Trio Sonata in D major for flute, viola d'amore and continuo, GWV 205
Trio Sonata in D minor for flute, viola d'amore and continuo, GWV 207
Trio Sonata in E minor for flute, viola d'amore and continuo, GWV 209
Trio Sonata in F major for viola d'amore, bass chalumeau and continuo, GWV 210
Graupner also used the viola d'amore as an obbligato instrument in 18 of his cantatas:
Ach Sterbliche bedenkt das Ende, GWV 1157/25
Erschrocknes Zion sei erfreut, GWV 1128/24
Erwacht ihr Heiden, GWV 1111/34
Gott ist's der in euch wirket, GWV 1163/23
Halleluja Dank und Ehre, GWV 1109/40
Herr unser Gott, GWV 1174/17
Ich habe Lust abzuscheiden, GWV 1175/26c
Ihr schlummert, ihr schlafet
Jesu frommer Menschenherden, GWV 1140/25
Kommet herzu lasset uns dem Herrn frohlocken, GWV 1174/38
Lobet ihr Knechte des Herrn, GWV 1174/18
Preise Jerusalem den Herrn, GWV 1174/20
Schicket euch in die Zeit, GWV 1151/14
So demütiget euch nun, GWV 1125/23
Wer die Wahrheit tut, GWV 1139/38
Wir warten eines neuen Himmels, GWV 1167/23
Wir wissen dass unser irdisches Haus, GWV 1175/39b
Wisset ihr nicht dass auf diesen Tag, GWV 1127/26
  • Georg Philipp Telemann (1681–1767)
Concerto in E major for flute, oboe d'amore, viola d'amore, strings and continuo
Trio Sonata in D major for flute, viola d'amore and continuo
No.26 & 36 in Brockes Passion, TWV 5:1
Cantata Herr lehre uns bedenken dass wir sterben müssen, TWV 1:763
  • Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750)
used in aria no.19 and 20 of the Johannes Passion and in Cantatas Nos. 36c, 152, and 205
Tritt auf die Glaubensbahn, BWV 152
  • Johann Joachim Quantz (1697–1773)
Two Trio Sonatas (in F major and c minor) for flute, viola d'amore and continuo
  • Louis-Toussaint Milandre (18th century)
Pièces pour une viole d'amour avec basse
Pièces pour une viole d'amour, violon et basse
Trio en fa pour une viole d'amour, violon et basse
  • Carlo Martinides (c.1731–1794)
Divertimento in D major for viola d'amore, violin, viola and cello
  • Joseph Haydn (1732–1809)
Divertimento for viola d'amore, violin and cello; This is an arrangement of a work by Haydn, but made in the 18th century.
  • Carl Stamitz (1745–1801)
3 solo Concertos
Sonata in D major for viola d'amore and violin or viola
various other sonatas
Quartet for oboe, violin, viola d'amore and cello
  • Franz Anton Hoffmeister (1754–1812)
Quartet in E major (D major) for viola d'amore, 2 violins and cello
  • Joseph Leopold Eybler (1765–1846)
Quintet No.1 in D major for viola d'amore, violin, viola, cello and violone
Quintet No.2 in D major for viola d'amore, violin, viola, cello and violone
Offertorium, 'In Festo Sta. Theresia' for Tenor, soli viola d'amore, cello, with strings and chorus
Modern works
  • Louis van Waefelghem (1840–1908)
Romance in D major for violin or viola d'amore and piano (1891)
Soir d'automne (Autumn Evening), Melody for viola d'amore or viola and piano or harp (1903)
  • Charles Martin Loeffler (1861–1935)
La mort de Tintagiles, Symphonic poem for viola d'amore and orchestra, Op. 6 (1897–1900)
'The Lone Prairie' for tenor saxophone, viola d'amore and piano
Miscellaneous pieces for viola d'amore with other instruments and/or chorus.
  • Henri Casadesus (1879–1947)
Concerto for viola d'amore and strings
24 Préludes for viola d'amore and harpsichord, piano or harp (1931)
  • Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887–1959)
  • Frank Martin (1890–1974)
Sonata da chiesa for viola d'amore and organ or string orchestra (1952)
  • Paul Hindemith (1895–1963)
Kleine Sonate (Small Sonata) for viola d'amore and piano, Op. 25 No. 2 (1922)
Kammermusik No. 6 for viola d'amore and chamber orchestra, Op. 46 No. 1 (1927)
  • Bruno Maderna (1920–1973)
Viola per viola sola (o viola d'amore) (1971)
  • Paul Rosenbloom (*1952)
Concerto for two viole d'amore and chamber orchestra (1994)
Jordi savall vivaldi viola da gamba
  • Michael Edwards (*1968)
24/7:: freedom fried for viola d'amore and live electronics (2006)
  • Dario Palermo (*1970)
Ritual for viola d'amore, real time composition and live electronics (2007)

Vivaldi Viola De Gamba

  • Emily Doolittle (*1972)

Viola Da Gamba For Sale

Virelais for viola d'amore and voice (2001)
  • Ottorino Respighi (1879-1936)
Quartet for quinton, viola d'amore, viola da gamba, basse de viole
  • Rachel Stott (*1968)
Odysseus in Ogygia for six viole d'amore (2011)
Tartini and his Pupil for two viole d'amore (2016)
Ariel's Songs for soprano and two viole d'amore (2000)
Wenn Wege sich Kreuzen for soprano and viola d'amore (2013)
Maturity for soprano and viola d'amore (2014)
  • Hans Vermeersch (*1957)
Gadbad-Confusion for two viole d'amore, viola da gamba and cembalo (2012)
Bhalobasha-Love for viola d'amore and tape (2012)
Makbaraa-Tombeau for two viole d'amore, cello and cembalo (2014)
Stootch-Reflection for viola d'amore and tape (2014)
The viola d'amore is also used in
  • Les Huguenots (1836) by Giacomo Meyerbeer
  • Bánk bán (1861) by Ferenc Erkel
  • Le jongleur de Notre-Dame (1901) and 'Cendrillon' (1899) by Jules Massenet
  • Madama Butterfly (1904) by Giacomo Puccini
  • Palestrina (1912) by Hans Pfitzner
  • Káťa Kabanová (1919) by Leoš Janáček; The viola d'amore represents the title character.
  • Romeo and Juliet (1935–1936) by Sergei Prokofiev
  • ..?risonanze!.. (1996–1997) by Olga Neuwirth
  • The Misprision of Transparency (2001) by Aaron Cassidy
  • Bernard Herrmann's score for On Dangerous Ground (1951) makes extensive use of the viola d'amore for the female protagonist's theme.

Note: The papers of Walter Voigtlander contain 142 arrangements and transcriptions of works for the instrument.[7]

Pedagogical works[edit]

  • The Modern Viole d'Amour Player, Systematically Arranged Material for the Studie of the Viole d'Amour for the Violin Player by Walter Voigtlander (written before 1914). This is a basic pedagogical method, which starts the player from the most elementary elements of the instrument and progresses to a fair level of difficulty. It contains adaptations of violin and viola exercises by many well-known pedagogues. In addition, the work contains a supplement with many solo works and orchestral soli, by many composers, including his own 42 Studies (see below[7]). Available as part of The Walter Voigtlander Collection of Viola d'Amore Music, ca. 1890-1930 at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts (see finding aid[7]).
  • 42 Studies transcribed for the Viole d'Amour for the Violin Player, and Viola Studies for Self-Study by Walter Voigtlander. It has annotations in both German and English. It is the more advanced of his two pedagogical works, being intended, according to Rosenblum,[8] largely for his own use. Exercises from well-known violin and viola method books are extracted and modified for the viola d'amore.[7] Available as part of The Walter Voigtlander Collection of Viola d'Amore Music, ca. 1890-1930 at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts (see finding aid[7]).

Viola d'amore players[edit]

Louis van Waefelghem with viola d'amore
  • Attilio Ariosti (1666–1729)
  • Louis-Toussaint Milandre (18th century)
  • Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)
  • Farinelli (1705–1782)
  • Alexandro Marie Antoin Fridzeri (1741-1819)
  • Chrétien Urhan (1790–1845)
  • Johann Král (1823–1912)
  • Louis van Waefelghem (1840–1908)
  • George Saint-George (1841–1924)
  • Hugo Walter Voigtlander (1859-1933)
  • Kate Chaplin (1865–1948)
  • Carl Valentin Wunderle (1866-1944)
  • Henri Casadesus (1879–1947)
  • Montagu Cleeve (1894–1993)
  • Paul Hindemith (1895-1963)
  • Karl Haas (1900–1970)
  • Vadim Borisovsky (1900–1972)
  • Tosca Kramer (1903–1976)
  • Guido Santórsola (1904–1994)
  • Walter Trampler (1915–1997)
  • Gordon B. Childs (b. 1927)
  • Mark Childs (b. 1944)
  • Alice Harnoncourt (b. 1930)
  • Marcus Thompson (b. 1946)
  • Michael Kugel (b. 1947)
  • Stephen Nachmanovitch (b. 1950)
  • Roy Goodman (b. 1951)
  • Gunter Teuffel (b. 1955)
  • Garth Knox (b. 1956)
  • Richard Fleischman (b. 1963)
  • Sviatoslav Belonogov (b. 1965)
  • Rachel Barton Pine (b. 1974)
  • Julia Rebekka Adler (b. 1978)
  • Hans Vermeersch (b. 1957)
  • Tan Dun (b. 1957)
  • Jasser Haj Youssef (b. 1980)
  • Leonid Pateyuk (b.1990)
  • Daniel Thomason (b. 1934)
  • Myron Rosenblum (b. 1933)
  • Hans Lauerer
  • Rüdiger Müller-Nübling
  • Harry Danks (1912-2001)
  • Michel Pons
  • Marianne Kubitschek-Rônez
  • Margit Urbanetz-Vig
  • Emil Seiler (1906-1998)
  • Viera Bilikova
  • Joseph Pietropaolo (1934-2014)
  • Frank Bellino (1927-2013)
  • Joseph Ceo
  • Wolfram Just (b. 1936)
  • Thomas Georgi
  • Elly Winer
  • Igor Boguslavsky
  • Karl Stumpf (1907-1988)
  • Aurelio Arcidiacono (1915-2001)
  • Howard Boatwright (1912-1999)
  • Virginia Majewski
  • Lorenzo Nassimbeni
  • Frantisek Slavik (1911-1999)
  • Jacob Glick (1926-1999)
  • Vazgen Muradian (1921-2018)
  • Medardo Mascagni (1922-2001)
  • Artur Paciorkiewicz
  • John Calabrese (1941-2006)
  • Jaroslav Horak (1914-2005)
  • Katherine McGillivray (1970-2006)
  • Guenter Ojstersek (b. 1930)
  • Hans-Karl Piltz (b. 1923)
  • Paul Shirley (1886-1984)
  • Mary Elliott James (b. 1927)
  • Jose Blankleder (d. 1998)
  • Max Tonson-Ward (1918-2015)
  • Elizabeth Watson
  • Roland Kato
  • Claire Kroyt
  • Charles Martin Loeffler (1861-1935)
  • Richard Stoelzer
  • Arnt Martin (b. 1939)
  • Leon King
  • Karlina Ivane (b. 1979)
  • Carlos Solare
  • Haruko Tanabe
  • Ines Wein
  • Adriana Zoppo
  • Ludwig Hampe
  • Sibylle Hoedt-Schmidt
  • Christoph Angerer
  • Gheorghe & Simona Balan
  • Christiane Guhl
  • Simon Steinkühler
  • Adrian Susanin (b. 1956)
  • Rachel Stott
  • Helmut Tzschöckell (1933-1999)
  • Maricel Méndez (b.1985)
  • Jürgen Lantz
  • Leszek Kuśmirek


The sînekemani ('breast fiddle') is one of the members of the viol family, which was very popular in Western Europe, and known in almost all the countries of Europe by its Italian name, viola d'amore, meaning 'love fiddle.' It was most likely brought to Istanbul by European diplomats. Until its arrival, the single bowed instrument in Turkish classical music was the kemân (or kemânçe). Because the viola d'amore was played resting against the breast, the Turks called it the sînekemani.[9]

See also[edit]

Antonio Vivaldi La Viola Da Gamba In Concerto


  1. ^Pronunciation of viola in Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary.
  2. ^'Viola d'Amore or Treble Viol'. The University of Edinburgh.
  3. ^The other two sound-hole shapes being f-holes for viols with 'violin shape' and C-holes or flame holes on the 'viol shaped' viols.
  4. ^Kai Köpp: 'Love without Sympathy', The Strad, vol. 112 no. 1333 (May 2001), 526-533.
  5. ^Tyrrell, John (2006/7). 'Janáček: Years of a Life', Faber & Faber, London, Volume II at pages 264, 832, 881
  6. ^'Viola d'Amore - Vivaldi, by Leon King'. Retrieved 18 April 2021.
  7. ^ abcdeFrankenberger, Peggy; Mary Freeman. 'Walter Voigtlander collection of viola d'amore music, ca.1890- ca.1930'. Retrieved September 16, 2015.
  8. ^Rosenblum, Myron. “Walter Voigtlander: a true viola d'amore pioneer in America.” Newsletter. Viola d'Amore Society of America V.4, No.1 (May 1980), pp. 12-14.
  9. ^'SİNEKEMANI'. Retrieved 18 April 2021.

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Viola d'amore.
  • Inventory of the Karl Stumpf Viola d'Amore Scores in the Music Division of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
  • Orpheon Foundation, Vienna, Austria - Collection of historical instruments. Website includes pictures and details of some violas d'amore
Retrieved from ''

The viola da gamba (viol or viole) began the baroque era as a consort instrument and maintained that role, especially in England, for several decades. In Italy, after the flowering of the viola bastarda (a small bass viol) from the late Renaissance, it was completely supplanted by the violin family. England saw the standardization of the consort sizes as treble in D, Tenor a 5th lower in G and bass a 4th below that in D. The bass size, however, emerged as the viol with the greatest use outside of the consort, seeing duty as a popular continuo instrument and even a solo instrument in its own right.

Six-string viol from Harmonie Universelle (Paris, 1636) by Marin Mersenne.

Six-string viol (Hamburg, 1701) by Joachim Tielke (1641-1719). Brussels, Musée Instrumental 229.

Lyra viol. Captain Hume_s Pavan by Tobias Hume (excerpt), performed by Sarah Cunningham. Spirit of Gambo. Seagull SGR-1 (1997). Trk 8. Nufc takeover twitter.

The viol differs from the cello in having six strings instead of four, and tuned more like a lute or guitar. This facilitates the playing of chords. The instrument also has frets on the fingerboard to help in that regard. In addition, the bow is held underhanded, with the strong bow stroke being the inward stroke, as opposed to the downbow of the violin family. Many violins have “C” holes rather than “f” holes, although there was no standard for that. The sound of the viol tends to be softer and brighter than that of the cello.

Viol virtuoso Johann Schenk, attr. Peter Schenk (1645-1715). Blois, Musée du Chateau.

Portrait of (?) the last viol virtuoso, Carl Friedrich Abel (1723-87). Oberlin, Private Collection

Viola da gamba. Sonata for solo gamba by George Philipp Telemann, mvt. 2 Vivace (excerpt), performed by Mary Springfels. Telemann: Solo Works. Harmonia Mundi HMU 907158 (1997). Trk 14.

The solo music for the viol includes division and lyra-style (chordal) works from England, dance suites by French composers like St. Colombe, Forqueray, and Marais, and German works by Buxtehude, Telemann, Bach, Schenk, and Abel. St. Colombe is credited with adding a 7th string to the bass end of the viol, taking it down below the cello to A, and expanding its range to an astonishing compass of well over three octaves.

Two 7-string viols. La conférence from VIIIe Concert (excerpt) by le Sieur de Sainte Colombe, performed by Jordi Savall and Wieland Kuijken. Concerts … deux violes ‚gales II. Astrée E 8743 (1992). Trk 1.

Bass Viola Da Gamba

Woman playing 7-string viol. Portrait of Madame Henriette de France (1754) by Jean-Marc Nattier. Paris, Musée de Versailles.