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A guitarlike instrument of the Spanish Renaissance having ten to twelve strings, tuned like a lute.

[Spanish, from Old Spanish, viol, vihuela, ultimately from Old Provençal viola, viol; see viola1.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Spanish biˈwela)
(Instruments) an obsolete plucked stringed instrument of Spain, related to the guitar
[from Spanish]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
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References in periodicals archive ?
Their short reign of forty years began in 1536 with the publication of Milan's Libro de musica de vihuela de mano, intitulado El Maestro [Book of Vihuela Music, Entitled the Master], dedicated to his patron, King John III of Portugal.
Ward, The vihuela de mano and its music (1536-1576) (PhD diss., New York U., 1953).
Griffiths, 'At court and at home with the vihuela de mano: current perspectives on the instrument, its music and its world', Journal of the Lute Society of America, xxii (1989), pp.1-27.
Ward, The vihuela de mano and its music (PhD diss., New York U., 1953), p.283, states that 'Santa Maria's recognition of the consonancia as a chord to be reckoned from the bass, both in his writing and in the illustrative musical examples, is far more clearly expressed than similar ideas tentatively voiced in other 16th-century treatises'.