The symphonia is played by just one instrumentalist and it is used by the minstrels to accompany dances and chansons de geste; briefly, its popularity extends its use to religious processions and mystery plays. The association, which consolidated through the centuries, with minstrels, vagabonds and beggings (who were often blinds, indeed it was called “viola for the blinds”) makes this instrument a symbol, alternately, of rusticity, baseness, immorality and poverty.
The symphonia is a manageable instrument thanks to its restrained measures and it has a simple and linear shape.
Its architectural characteristics allow the reproduction of a melody contemporarily or separately, harmony and in some cases also rhythm.
It’s an instrument that requires medium level abilities, so it should be preferably played by the music therapist.