Marin Marais is regarded today as a central figure in the French school of viol playing. The author examines several aspects of Marais's career as composer, performer, and teacher. Some of the evidence he investigates adds to the image of Marais as a teacher, tells us how eighteenth-century viol players may have applied his teachings to their study, and also shows what we can learn from the acknowledged French master today. Marais composed four tragedies that were performed at the Paris Opera during his lifetime. Marais included fingering and bowing indications of introduction in each of his subsequent viol books too, and together his avertissements constitute an excellent digest of his teaching practices and how he intended the ornament signs and other marks in his music to be interpreted. The manuscripts in the Panmure Collection total thirty volumes in all, ten of which comprise French music, including works by Lully, Sainte-Colombe, and Marais.