Most popular instrument all over the
Iberian Peninsula during 16th century
Lower importance in the Italian
Greatest splendor on the Spanish Court
It was only encouraged along the Iberian
Vihuela has a similar form to the guitar.
It is made of wood and it has a handle with a
variable number of frets, usually ten strings.
It has a small cross bar to attach strings to the
vihuela, it is called “cordal”.
It has a sound box, with one or
more holes in the lid
The box has straight side
walls (riscle) and a flat bottom or a little
The tuning of the strings is Sol-Fa-La-Do-
According to the illustrations preserved,
it seems that there were a lot of
variability with the instrument forms and
The music written for vihuela was vocal music
written in tablatures or arrangements, vocal pieces
with vihuela, and dance and instrumental pieces.
Vihuela ‘s repertoire is similar
to the lute’s. They have the
same tuning so we can play
the same piece with the two
Figures: each figure refers to the
fingered notes in the tablature
Fingering for the left hand (open
Fingering for the right hand (2nd
A tablature transcription by Luís de Milán, XVI Century
Transcripció d’una tabulatura de Lluís Milà (segle XVI)