chapter  1
12 Pages

‘English viols are the ones which one normally plays’: Researching early English viols

If you ask what early English viols were like, what sort of answer might you expect? This book presents plenty of relevant facts, but its core theme is heterogeneity. If half of England prefers to bathe in hot water and the other half in cold, it would be misleading to summarize the favoured temperature in a single word as ‘warm’. However much we value concise explications and easily communicable ideas, any characterization of early English viols that ignores their great variety of form, manufacture and context can be no better than ‘warm’. More likely it would be fallacious and misleading.