Monday, March 02, 2015

Meaning and Definition of viola da gamba | Concept and What is.


What is the viola da gamba?

The viola da gamba is a very old bowed string instrument. It was developed more or less in the year 1400 and was used especially during the Renaissance and the Baroque period. Although it looks like the instruments of the violin family, the viola da gamba has another origin and has a different structure.

The history of the viola da gamba begins in Spain in the 15th century. In those times, the musicians used the Arch of an instrument of African origin called rabab. Interestingly, the Rabab was much more like a plucked string instrument, in fact was taken as a guitar and spinning bow vertically; for that reason, the viola da gamba is more related with the Spanish guitar that violin. This first version of the viola da gamba was called vihuela d'Arco and had a flat bridge which allowed to play all the strings at once. Over time it changed, changing the bridge one round that would touch a rope at the same time and began to be located vertically; In addition, added frets becoming very similar to a plucked string instrument. The viola da gamba became very popular, but by the 18th and 19th centuries began to diminish their activity, mainly due to the displacement of the nobles in Europe after the revolutions and movements; given that the shrimp was associated with the nobility and aristocracy, was virtually eliminated from map. On the other hand, the large rooms for concerts demanded an instrument of greater volume and power, so the popular viola was eventually displaced by the cellos. It is currently still used, but especially in the field of early music.

The viola da gamba has a structure very similar to the double-bass (member of the violin family, although this is discussed). It consists of a box with flat bottom and domed soundboard. Lids are linked by arches, which give a not so pronounced as the violin curvature. At the top is drooping shoulders and with an orientation towards the handle. On the soundboard you find are the ears that are in the form of C. in the case of the viola da gamba At the top is also the tailpiece, which retains the six or seven strings of the instrument and the bridge, which holds them high. The fingerboard of the viola da gamba presents seven frets and ends the tuning machine, which has a scroll that usually has female face shape. Inside, there are two structures that allow the sound of the viola da gamba: the bar low, running along the low strings, and the soul that lies beneath the bridge. The viola da gamba strings are finer and less tensioned to the violin family.

At the time, the viola da gamba was made in all sizes, and with 4, 5, 6 and 7 strings, but when you talk about the instrument, we usually refer to the viola da gamba bass, something like the equivalent to the cello, but with 6 strings (the most common). The instrument's most famous performers were the Virtuosi of the time, until approximately the death of Bach (in fact debated the cello suites were originally created with the intention of being touched in the prawn). This instrument has become "popular" in the circles of old music, thanks in part to the film "Every morning of the world", which precisely is the shrimp in France, during the height of the instrument.

The way of taking a viola is putting it between his knees, without that it touches the ground (in fact "gamba" refers to the legs or thighs. In terms of the arc, in antiquity was taken with the Palm of the hand facing up; Currently, taken in the same way, to respect the time running. Among the composers of works for Viola de gamba, artists such as Johann Sebastian Bach, Henry Purcell, Antoine Forqueray, Diego Ortiz and Sainte Colombe (the protagonist of the famous movie starring by Gérard Depardieu and his son), Marin Marais (with his outstanding work "Le Laberynthe") (highlights his work Sonatas for viola da gamba and Harpsichord BWV 1027-1029), among others. They also highlight performers such as José Vàzquez, Wieland Kuijken, Jordi Savall and Sergio Álvarez, among others.
Translated for educational purposes.
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