Sp. Renaissance instr. of guitar type. Word was used generically for all str. instrs., so further identification was necessary, e.g. vihuela de arco, bowed vihuela; vihuela de penole, plectrum‐plucked vihuela; vihuela de mano, finger‐plucked vihuela. Main period of popularity 1530–80. Luis de Milán's book on the vihuela de mano (1536) is a teaching manual containing first solo songs printed in Sp. Larger than guitar, usually with 6 courses, and up to 10 frets. Superseded by guitar c.1700. Mus. notated in tablature.