Scroll with your mouse or arrow keys to see more!




Known as the king of instruments, the baryton was a viol type instrument that had normal strings at the front which were bowed, and behind the fingerboard sympathetic strings which were plucked with the left thumb, meaning that the instrument could be used for bowed melody and plucked accompaniment simultaneously. There are two types of baryton: a baroque baryton and a classical baryton. The baryton emerged in the baroque era as a solo, self accompanying instrument and was later used as a virtuosic melody instrument. In the classical period the instrument was adopted by Haydn who wrote the ‘Baryton’ trios for viola, cello and baryton. The instrument used by Haydn was notably different to the instrument used in the baroque period, the main difference being that the sympathetic strings were tuned an octave higher on the classical instrument to help it stand out from instruments such as the viola and cello. There are currently very few barytons in the UK. Although I do not currently own one of these instruments, I hope to do so one day!