Definition of viola da braccio in English:

viola da braccio


  • An early musical instrument of the violin family (as distinct from a viol), specifically one corresponding to the modern viola.

    • ‘It is important to note that all these centers brought forth from 1540 until 1780 violas da gamba and violas da braccio of a quality unequalled to this very day.’
    • ‘The stalls are arranged in two semicircles, and among their decorations are represented 24 instruments, such as the hurdy-gurdy, Basque drum, lute, shawm, flute, viola da braccio, bells.’
    • ‘Maker and restorer of violas da gamba, medieval fiddles, violone, lirone, lira da braccio, violas da braccio, and Baroque stringed instruments.’
    • ‘The viola da braccio appeared during the Renaissance before 1500 as a result of experiments to combine features of the rebec and vielle.’
    • ‘Instruments came to America early with the Moravians; by 1742 Bethlehem had flutes, violins, violas da braccio, violas da gamba, and horns.’


Italian, literally ‘viol for the arm’.


viola da braccio

/vɪˌəʊlə da ˈbrɑːtʃɪəʊ/