Archived request from the wiki:
- Other names: Basse de violon
- Family: Strings
- Description: Bass violin is the modern term for various 16th and 17th-century bass instruments of the violin (i.e. "viola da braccio") family. They were the direct ancestor of the modern cello. Bass violins were usually somewhat larger than the modern cello, but tuned the same or sometimes just one step lower than it. Contemporary names for these instruments include "basso de viola da braccio," "basso da braccio," or the generic term "violone," which simply meant "large fiddle." The instrument differed from the violone of the viol, or "viola da gamba" family in that like the other violins it had at first three, and later usually four strings, as opposed to five, six, or seven strings, it was tuned in fifths, and it had no frets. With its F-holes and stylized C-bouts it also more closely resembled the viola da braccio.
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- On rare occasions this term is used as a synonym for the double bass.