I did not make that word up. I feel compelled to point that out because I do make words up. Sometimes. Not that one. This here thing is really called a vihuela (pronounced bi’wela if you’re Spanish) and is basically a 15th century precursor of the guitar. Or a close relative of it, anyway.
The reason I made it is because it’s the favourite instrument of Tyanit Ruig (the Citizen Officiary from At War’s Edge).
He is a sort of secondary character in AWE, and I doubt we’ll get to see him play (though you never know, of course). He is, however, a main character in The Fires of Acoten, the prequel novel I’m also working on. It’s set some years before AWE and the younger Teguel Elhado (his real name – whoops, spoiler) goes spying while posing as a troubadour. His mission gets derailed pretty quickly, so he doesn’t play a whole lot there either (at least, the way the plot’s shaping up right now), but he definitely has a vihuela and he definitely knows what to do with it. And enjoys doing it, too. So I’m thinking he’s keeping one in his office in AWE, too, because why not?
….Ok, fine, I’ll admit it. I made it because I was researching what instruments he could play – and just couldn’t walk past that cool violin-like shape.
Oh, and a vihuela playing can be heard on YouTube over here. 50 minutes of it, mostly calm and beautiful. I’ve listened to it at least twice while modelling.
And yeah, we’re having a heat wave and yeah, my brain is fried. But at least I have a vihuela to show for it =)