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Who made the viols `by’ Henry Jaye ?

By Michael Fleming


We interrogate antique viols to discover what they can tell us of original musical practices. However, they are not always what they seem, because the instruments we see today embody centuries of changing attitudes both to the repertory and to instruments. Published information about viols is particularly hazardous, so a detailed understanding of the nature of old instruments and the way that they have been documented is required to interpret it. This paper will describe the usual ways in which viols depart from their original state, and introduce a protocol I have developed for gathering data. The techniques will be exemplified by application to the work of Henry Jaye, who seems to be represented by more surviving instruments than any other English viol maker from this period. All the currently available information about Jaye will be presented and an approach to understanding the work of other makers will be explaine

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