A viola da gamba, also known as a viol, refers to any member of a family of bowed or plucked string instruments. The viola da gamba family likely originated in Spain in the 15th century. The only member of the viola da gamba family still in common use today is the double bass.
The viola da gamba was an instrument in use throughout western Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries; the modern(ish) violin became popular around the turn of the 17th century. But instruments ...