In the 16th century the Spanish musicians developed a unique form of instrument for playing polyphonic music. This was a six course waisted instrument played with a bow, a quill, or the fingers. The form that seems to have been most popular, or at least the form that suits the surviving music, is the vihuela intended to be played with the fingers. No instrument survives from the period that charactorizes the instrument as we see it in paintings and drawings. .