1A type of early Spanish stringed musical instrument, in particular.
- The five-course guitar supplanted the aristocratic vihuela in the 17th century and came to be regarded as the typical Spanish instrument.
- Juan Carlos Rivera and his vihuela are shown to advantage in an extract from the Mass ‘Quam pulchri sunt’.
- As the 16-member ensemble launches into a particularly romantic song, local high school mariachi teacher John Contreras rocks rhythmically nearby, a small vihuela (an instrument similar to a guitar) at his side.
1.2 (vihuela de arco /ˈärkō/) A type of viol.
Mid 19th century: Spanish.
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