1. A lute-like instrument with small keys, in which the strings are actuated by contact with a rotating rosin-coated wheel. Two open strings play all the time in the same manner as the drone of a bagpipe. * French: vielle * Medieval Latin: organistrum. 2. Popular usage: barrel-operated street piano or organ. This incorrect usage probably originated from the hurdy-gurdy, street piano and organ all being instruments used by street musicians and played by turning a crank.