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Rebec and Vielle

In Europe during the middle ages, two types of fiddles were used for music making. The rebec developed into a Pear-shaped body and neck made from a single piece of wood.


As the instrument developed, the round sound holes became shaped more like the f-holes we see on the violin today. They typically had three strings tuned in fifths and were used to play melodies and dance music.


The vielle (bottom image) came in a multitude of shapes and sizes, and had a neck that was distinct from the body. The vielle could have anywhere from 3 to 6 strings, and was often used for drone style accompaniments.


From the 12th to the 15th centuries, the vielle and the rebec developed. Additional strings were added, improvements were made to the construction. Bridge and tailpiece construction improved.


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