the ancestor of the violin

Introduced into Europe from the Orient during the late middle ages, the first representations of the medieval fiddle appear in illustrations that date from the end of the 13th century. An instrument capable of playing all sorts of music, for accompanying songs or recitals, yet also perfect for improvisation.

We know with certainty that the "Estampies" (dance tunes) of Rambaut de Vaqueiras were played on a medieval fiddle before any words were adapted to the music.

Bryan Tolley was inspired by illustrations from the middle ages for his medieval fiddle. The instrument below is an oval fiddle carved from willow with boxwood pegs, tailpiece and fingerboard.

Une vièle à archet du XIIIème siècle.
    Un musicien avec une vièle à archet Une vièle à archet du XVème siècle.