Musical Instrument Glossary V


Zither made of a bamboo tube strung with metal (or rarely bamboo) strings stretched lengthwise all around the tube. Madagascar.

Vanlig fele

The vanlig fele refers to the common violin in Norwegian.


A south Indian plucked lute. It has 24 copper frets with four playing strings and three drone strings. There are many other types of veenas, including the rudra veena (zither), saraswati veena (bowl lute), mohan veena, vichitra veena, etc. Also known as vina. India.

Saraswati veena
Saraswati veena

Velas delis

Washboard used as a scraper. Latvia.

Ve Ve

Bamboo buzzers from the highland regions of Vietnam. Similar instruments are found in many regions of Southeast Asia, the Philippines, and Indonesia. They have become a common instrument in dance music (Courtesy of Khac Chi).


Xylophone with motor-driven metal resonators.

Yamaha 3-Octave Vibraphone
Yamaha 3-Octave Vibraphone


Hurdy gurdy in French.


1. An important plucked instrument in the Renaissance. The body of the vihuela was guitar-shaped but its strings were tuned like those of a lute. It was used predominantly in Spain, where it was usually associated with the nobility.

2. Plucked instrument of the guitar family popular in parts of Spanish-speaking America. It is very similar to the Spanish Renaissance vihuela. The vihuela design includes a belly for added resonance and has five single courses of strings.

Mexican vihuela by H. Jimenez
Mexican vihuela by H. Jimenez


1. Classical guitar. Argentina.
2. In the violin family, the alto instrument, played under the chin.

Viola by Cecilio
Viola by Cecilio

Viola Campaniça

An ancient folk guitar from Alentejo. Portugal.

Viola amarantina

Guitar with 5 pairs of metal strings. The sound hole is shaped in the form of two hearts. Portugal.

Viola braguesa

Guitar from Braga with 5 pairs of metal strings. Portugal.

Viola beiroa

A highly ornamented guitar. Portugal.

Viola campaniça

A guitar that has nearly disappeared. Long ago it was popular in most of Low Alentejo region, but nowadays it is circumscribed to only two or three counties and barely half a dozen players. The characteristic sound is made by five groups of double strings, made out of steel and brass. Its use, today, is practically reduced to the accompaniment of songs. Portugal.

Viola d’arame

Guitar from Madeira with steel strings. Portugal.


Classical guitar. Brazil.


A bowed 4-string European instrument, originating during the 17th century, characterized by rounded backs and shoulders. The folk violin is known as fiddle.

violin by Suzuki
violin by Suzuki


Bagpipe with 1 or 2 drones. Also spelled volinka. Russia and Ukraine.


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