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A fretted stringed instrument derived from the Lute and with Lute tuning and typically with 6 strings or courses of gut which were plucked. A common instrument in the 15th and 16th centuries especially in Spain where it is thought to have given rise to the Guitar by one evolution and the Viol by another (bowed). The curved, waisted sides of the Vihuela and indeed the modern Guitar suggest a possibility of bowing at some point in the instruments' history. It is possible that the Vihuela was played either by hand or by bowing (de mano or de arco) the same instrument.