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vielle (vyĕl) [key], bowed string instrument used throughout Europe from the 13th cent. through the 15th cent. The vielle resembles the violin, of which it is a direct precursor, but it has a longer body and five strings, one of which was used as a drone. In the 15th cent. the word vielle referred to the hurdy-gurdy ( vielle à rue ).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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