Nicolas Houël (1584)
Sources For Rediscovering Lost Viola da Gambas
Iconography offers invaluable yet murky evidence for reconstructing early French viol consorts. Iconography, for example, offers no evidence of the internal construction of instruments.
Treatises and other primary sources provide evidence for historical tunings, which can be extrapolated as organological evidence to inform our reconstructions. Treatises further offer clues as to the social use of viols in the lives of sixteenth-century French women and men.
While ample evidence exists of the tunings and outward appearance of early French viol consorts, the question of what repertoire these instruments performed remains an unexplored issue. The Parisian chanson was in the sixteenth century a mass-produced popular form of polyphony that was flexible enough and could be performed on consort instruments.
The Latest from Our Blog
- Insights from Brescian Renaissance ViolsOne of the most daunting challenges in reconstructing a consort of Renaissance French viols is the lack of extant instruments that can be analyzed. While iconography and treatises are both crucial sources for understanding these instruments, taken together they still leave many questions unresolved. Besides questions surrounding the internal construction of the viols, one pertinent… Continue reading Insights from Brescian Renaissance Viols
- First Sounds From Our New PrototypeOur first prototype has arrived from luthier John Pringle. The bass, tuned E-A-D-G-c’, is now making its first sounds.
- Conference Paper on Early French Viols PublishedDr. Romey presented a paper entitled “The French Renaissance Viol Consort: Reevaluating the Sources and Reclaiming the Music” at the International Conference on Medieval and Renaissance Thought at Sam Houston State University from 4–6 April 2013. During the paper he displayed the first prototype made by John Pringle. His spoken paper has been published as… Continue reading Conference Paper on Early French Viols Published