Viols, the most esteemed bowed instruments of the late Renaissance, were only gradually displaced by the violin family. Viols differ from violins chiefly in shape, in number of strings and tuning, and in having fretted necks. All viols are played in an upright position between the knees or on the legs ("gamba" means "leg"), and the bow is held palm upward. Their sound is less brilliant and quieter than that of violin's. Chamber music for a consort of four to six viols was composed during the Renaissance and Baroque eras, and solo works for the bass viol were being played until nearly the end of the eighteenth century.