1893 text

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.

3 Annotations

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[2]; see Diary, Sat May 23rd. 1663.

Jose Vazquez  •  Link

The above reference to the photographs of a lyra-viol has been changed due to a change in the computer at my university. The present referent address is:


There go to collection, then viola da gamba.


José Vázquez

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.