The lyre viol is a viol with extra open bass strings, holding the same relation to the viol as the theorbo does to the lute. A volume entitled “Musick’s Recreation on the Lyra Viol,” was printed by John Playford in 1650.
This text comes from a footnote on a diary entry in the 1893 edition edited by Henry B. Wheatley.
Alan Bedford • Link
Instructive photographs of a lyra viol can be found at: http://www.mdw.ac.at/I105/orpheon/Seiten/Instru...
Michael Robinson • Link
Small bass viol popular in England during the 17th century.
For further details of this and othe viols and their tuning see:-
A Brief Introduction to Playing on the Bass Viol from: Playford, An Introduction to the skill of music” (1674) see:-
Pepys appears to have owned a copy of the following, with additional blank leaves bound in for further lessons to be added in Ms., Playford’s “Musick’s Recreation: on the Lyra Viol. Being a collection of new and excellent lessons.” 165; see Diary, Sat May 23rd. 1663.
Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.