Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: A no-longer extant instrument : a study of the medieval viol
Author: Yannacopoulou, Joséphine
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2010
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Please try the link below.
Access from Institution:
This thesis examines the case of a no-longer extant musical stringed bowed instrument repeatedly encountered in Western Middle Ages iconography from the period between the 12th to the 14th centuries. Documentary sources include frescoes and sculptures of Romanesque and Gothic cathedrals, and miniatures and historiated initials of illuminated manuscripts found in Psalters, Bibles, and astrological works. Despite its frequent and simultaneous iconographic appearance in various countries, no name has survived for this instrument. Organologists have attributed several convenient modern names to this instrument, the most common one being the 'medieval viol', a term suggestive of its time of existence and playing technique, regardless the fact that the instrument does not exhibit any other organological features of a viol. On the other hand, literature of the same time-period and region presents a similar problem in the identification of a musical instrument called the 'gigue'. There is a plethora of literary evidence ranging from courtly literature to didactic works suggesting that the 'gigue' was a stringed bowed instrument. Yet, no further information has survived on its identity. This thesis concentrates on the attribution of the most likely correct name for the medieval viol. It presents evidence for a new hypothesis identifying the medieval viol with the gigue. It examines documentary and iconographical sources from France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany and England from the 12th to the 14th centuries. The thesis also considers the instrument within a broader sphere, in relation to the historical and sociological circumstances of this period, as well as the aesthetical and philosophical currents of the time. Finally, the thesis discusses the various conclusions drawn from the reconstruction of the instrument, focusing on various performance considerations that could have been applicable to the medieval viol.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available