Medieval Vielle

Picture of Medieval Vielle
This is my replica of a medieval vielle, an ancestor of the modern violin. It was played by troubadours from the 13th to the 15th centuries.
bwells22 years ago
Could you make a vielle out of a cigar box?
spookylean (author)  bwells22 years ago
I think that would be just the same as a cigar box violin... except for the tied frets?
zzoe spookylean2 years ago

Does it have a sound-post? Is that low string meant for plucking? I've heard that that is sometimes done. How did you choose to tune the strings?

Found your work while searching for something quite unrelated - i must say i'm impressed. Good work.

N.B. Perhaps one could make a cigar box vielle, along the lines of the square type (Mary Rose) . I must say that as a junk instrument maker, and a musician with an interest in Medieval music, i love the idea of a cigar-box vielle.
spookylean (author)  zzoe2 years ago
It does have a sound post. And sometimes I plucked it, sometimes I bowed it. The bridge is much flatter than a violin bridge which means it plays chords well but melodies not so well. I tuned it to GDAE but it also worked in AEAE. I think. It's been a while. thanks!
zzoe spookylean2 years ago
Cool. You're welcome. I've played similar things, and you might try letting the bulk of the strings function as drones and play more 'linear' style melodies on the high string (s). easier than the more complex fingerings, in some ways, but the fingers have to be pretty nimble on the neck!
Cheers, and thanks again!
bwells22 years ago
Does it have a flat bridge or a violin styled bridge on your masterpiece?
bwells22 years ago
at $8 for a baritone ukulele set of nylguts at amazon, it might be a steal compare to natural gut.
bwells22 years ago
What about nylgut from Aquila as strings? It also comes in a natural color, It is made for ukuleles, banjos, guitars.
bwells22 years ago
Fretted bowed instruments sound awesome!
bwells22 years ago
You have created a masterpiece of a musical genious.
bwells22 years ago
What strings do you have on it?
spookylean (author)  bwells22 years ago
I don't honestly remember, but probably standard D'Addario light violin strings. Would be more authentic with gut, of course!
Gut strings are rare, and expensive, though.
bwells23 years ago
Can you either, upload a youtube vid or a mp3 file of the instrument? thanx
spookylean (author)  bwells22 years ago
I tried to do this today and found out my bow has sprung (I don't play anymore). If I get it re-haired I'll give it a shot.
bwells22 years ago
What strings did you use on your masterpiece
jamiec533 years ago

Does it play?
spookylean (author)  jamiec533 years ago
It plays, if a bit reedily. It also sounds good plucked as a mandolin.
I like it reedy, that might make it sound authentic.
Great! Now for a step by step!
bwells22 years ago
I want to hear this baby sing!
bwells22 years ago
I bet it sounds beautiful.