Pirastro Viola da Gamba

The viola da gamba, also known as the viol, or informally as the gamba, is a family of bowed, fretted, stringed instruments. These instruments have hollow wooden bodies and pegboxes for adjusting string tension and pitch. The gut frets are tied around the fingerboard, allowing clean stopping of the strings and consistent intonation.

Viols emerged in Spain and Italy in the mid-to-late 15th century, gaining popularity during the Renaissance and Baroque periods (1600–1750). Their early ancestors include the Arabic rebab and medieval European vielle. More direct ancestors are the Venetian viole and the Spanish vihuela, a six-course plucked instrument similar to the modern viol, distinct from the four-course guitar of that time.