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'How strange the tone of these old istruments - men must have been
half crickets when this music satisfied them!'
Applied to well-known persons living in the Golden Age of the noble
viola da gamba family, such as Queen Elzabeth I, the pirate Sir
Francis Drake and the ruffian Essex, the term 'crickets' is
intriguing. but they did love viols.
In the opinion of many in today`s musical world there would be no
need for viols. The instrument is regarded as a - slightly
contemptible - would-be cello. Which is what it was, and should be,
least of all. So why not get the instrument`s own sory, together with
what Elizabethan courtiers and European contemporaries thought about
This book is a compendium and a practical guide for musicians and
music lovers alike, putting a great many problems and questions
relating to the viol, and music in general, into perspective. There
is ample material concerning such topics as the great gamba players,
the history of viol construction including regional developments,
the musical role of viols, reconstructions and forgeries, and the
practical aspects of viol playing.