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Viola da gamba

 

The viola da gamba, or bass viol, was the most popular bass instrument used throughout the renaissance and baroque period, before the early cello overtook the gamba in popularity. The gamba is slightly smaller than a cello and depending on its model has either six or seven strings. It also has frets similar to a guitar and is bowed underhand, meaning that the right hand holds the bow from underneath rather than over the top like how a cello bow is held. Its strings are made of gut and it has a quieter but more resonant sound to the cello. Because of its many strings this instrument is ideal for chordal playing. My instrument has seven strings and was made by the English luthier Jane Julier in 2015, and has a decorative carved head of a unicorn.