General Reference Works on Stringed Instrument Makers

Henley, William. Universal Dictionary of Violin and Bow Makers (6 vols.). Brighton (England): Amati Publishing, Ltd., 1960.

Jalovec, Karel. Encyclopedia of Violin-Makers (2 vols., translated by J.B. Kozak, edited by Patrick Hanks). London: Paul Hamlyn, Ltd., 1968.

Lütgendorff, Willibald Leo, Freiherr von. Die Geigen- und Lautenmacher vom Mittelalter bis zur Gegenwart (2 vols.). 6th ed., Frankfurt am Main: Frankfurter Verlags Anstalt, 1922; reprint, Tutzing: Hans Schneider, 1975. Ergänzungsband [supplement volume] by Thomas Drescher, Tutzing: Hans Schneider, 1990.

Vannes, René. Dictionnaire universel des luthiers (2 vols.). 3rd ed., Brussels: Les Amis de la musique, 1999; originally published 1951–59. info

General Books and Collections of Articles About the Viol and Cello

Boer, Johannes, and Guido van Oorschot, eds. A Viola da Gamba Miscellany: Proceedings of the International Viola da Gamba Symposium, Utrecht, 1991. Utrecht: STIMU, 1994. info

Bonta, Stephen, et al. “Violoncello.” New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (29 vols.). 2nd ed., London: Macmillan, 2001, 26:745–65.

Harwood, Ian, and Lucy Robinson. “Viol.” New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (29 vols.). 2nd ed., London: Macmillan, 2001, 19:791–808. info

König, Adolf Heinrich. Die Viola da gamba. Frankfurt am Main: Verlag Erwin Bochinsky, 1985. info

Orlando, Susan, ed. The Italian Viola da Gamba: Proceedings of the International Symposium on the Italian Viola da Gamba (Magnano, Italy, 29 April—1 May 2000). Solignac: Edition Ensemble Baroque de Limoges, 2002. info

Orlando, Susan, ed. A Viola da Gamba Miscellanea. Limoges: Presses Universitaires de Limoges, 2005. info

Otterstedt, Annette. The Viol: History of an Instrument (translated by Hans Reiners). Kassel: Bärenreiter, 2002. info

Stowell, Robin, ed. The Cambridge Companion to the Cello. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999. info

Tourin, Peter. Viol-List: A Comprehensive Catalogue of Historical Viole da Gamba in Public and Private Collections. Duxbury, Vermont: The Tourin Musica, 1979. info

Woodfield, Ian. The Early History of the Viol. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984. info

Books and Articles About the Makers and Instruments of the Caldwell Collection

Caldwell, James. “Antique Viols and Related Instruments from the Caldwell Collection.” Journal of the Viola da Gamba Society of America 11 (1974): 60–89. info

Boyden, David D. Catalogue of the Hill Collection of Musical Instruments in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, 1969. info

British Violin Making Association. The British Violin: The Catalogue of the 1998 Exhibition “400 Years of Violin and Bow Making in the British Isles.“ Oxford: BVMA, 2000. info

Fleming, Michael Jonathan. “Viol-Making in England c1580–1660.” Ph.D. dissertation, The Open University, 2001. (Oxford: self-published by the author on CD-ROM, 2002) info

Hebbert, Benjamin. “A Catalogue of Surviving Instruments by, or Ascribed to, Barak Norman.” Galpin Society Journal 54 (2001): 285–329. info

Pringle, John. “John Rose, The Founder of English Viol-Making.” Early Music 6 (1978): 501–11. info

Pulver, Jeffrey. A Dictionary of English Music and Musical Instruments. London: K. Paul, Trubner, Trench & Co., Ltd., 1923. info

Hamma, Walter. Geigenbauer der deutschen Schule des 17. bis 19. Jahrhunderts / Violin makers of the German school from the 17th to the 19th century / Luthiers de l’école allemande du 17e au 19e siècle (2 vols.). Tutzing: Schneider, 1986. info

Hellwig, Friedemann and Barbara. Joachim Tielke: Kunstvolle Musikinstrumente des Barock. Berlin and Munich: Deutscher Kunstverlag, 2011. info

Kopp, Kai. “Love without sympathy.” The Strad 112, no. 1333 (May 2001): 526–33. info

Muthesius, Ingo. “Restaurer: le travail d’un atelier / Restaurieren: Arbeit in einer Werkstatt.” In Susan Orlando, ed., A Viola da Gamba Miscellanea. Limoges: Presses Universitaires de Limoges, 2005, pp. 166–83 (French) and 185–93 (German). info

Otterstedt, Annette. “Gregorius Karpp: Ein ostpreußischer Instrumentenbauer des späten 17. Jahrhunderts.” Concerto: Das Magazin für Alte Musik 3/2 (February 1986): 39–45. info

Sasse, Konrad. Katalog zu den Sammlungen des Händel-Hauses in Halle. 6.Teil: Musikinstrumentensammlung, Streich- und Zupfinstrumente. Halle an der Saale: Händel-Haus, 1972. info

Bol, Hans. La basse de viole du temps de Marin Marais et d’Antoine Forqueray. Bilthoven: A.B. Creyghton, 1973. info

Gétreau, Florence, ed. Instrumentistes et Luthiers Parisiens, XVIIe–XVIIIe siècles. Paris: Délégation à l’action artistique de la ville de Paris, 1988.

An exhibition catalogue containing more than a dozen scholarly essays, including:

• Dubuquoy-Portois, Christiane. “Le pardessus de viole au XVIIIe siècle: un nouvel instrument de divertissement.”

• Gétreau, Florence. “L’apogée de la basse de viole en France.”

• Milliot, Sylvette. “Violonistes et luthiers parisiens au XVIIIe siècle.”

Green, Robert A. “The pardessus de viole and its literature.” Early Music 10 (1982): 300–07.

————— “The Treble Viol in 17th-Century France and the Origins of the Pardessus de viole.” Journal of the Viola da gamba Society of America 23 (1986): 64–71.

————— “Recent Research and Conclusions Concerning the ‘Pardessus de Viole’ in Eighteenth-Century France.” In Johannes Boer and Guido van Oorschot, eds., A Viola da Gamba Miscellany: Proceedings of the International Viola da Gamba Symposium, Utrecht, 1991 (Utrecht: STIMU, 1994), 103–

Herzog, Myrna. “Is the quinton a viol? A puzzle unraveled.” Early Music 28 (2000): 8–31. info

Mace, Thomas Fitz-Hugh. “Twin Viols: Evidence for Serial Production in the Workshop of Nicolas Bertrand.” Journal of the Viola da gamba Society of America 45 (2009–10), 77–121. info

Milliot, Sylvette. Histoire de la lutherie parisienne du XVIIIe siècle à 1960. Tome II: Les luthiers du XVIIIe siècle. Spa (Belgium): Les Amis de la Musique, 1997. info

Muthesius, Tilman. “Michael Collichon, premier facteur de violes à sept cordes?” Musique, Images, Instruments 2 (1996): 40–52. info

Beare, Charles, et al. “Amati.” New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (29 vols.). 2nd ed., London: Macmillan, 2001, 1:443–46. info

Draley, Daniel. A Genealogy of the Amati Family of Violin Makers, 1500–1740. Iowa City: The Maecenas Press, 1989. info

Layer, Adolf. Die Allgäuer Lauten- und Geigenmacher. Augsburg: Verlag der Schwäbischen Forschungsgemeinschaft, 1978. info

Riedmiller, Thomas. “Die Wanderjahre des Geigenmachergesellen Anton Wachter. Zur Sozialgeschichte des Füssener Lautenmacher-Handwerks, Teil 2.” In Alt Füssen (Jahrbuch des Historischen Vereins Alt Füssen) Jg. 1995, pp. 32–41. info

Online Catalogues of Major Collections of Viols Containing Sibling Instruments

New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art info

Paris, Musée de la musique info

Vienna, Orpheon Foundation info

These four biographical dictionaries, all standard reference works in the violin world, also offer reasonably good coverage of viol makers. However, most are seriously out of date and have other weaknesses as well, including a tendency to copy from one another (or from earlier sources of varying trustworthiness). The most recent and therefore most reliable is Drescher’s 1990 supplement to Lütgendorff, which incorporates much new research about old makers as well as providing information on those active during the 20th century.

Contains ten articles on instruments and repertoire from various European countries during the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries; includes Robert Green’s most recent article on the pardessus, listed separately below

Both New Grove articles offer comprehensive discussions of these instruments, their repertoire, and their players, organized by country and accompanied by extensive bibliographies

A historical survey, including consideration of tutors and construction techniques (the author was an active luthier), based primarily on the holdings of numerous European museums and including illustrations of 50 instruments from their collections; the main text is exclusively in German, but photo captions are duplicated in English

Contains a dozen articles by researchers and instrument makers from eight countries on instruments, repertoire, and players during the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries

A further dozen articles deriving from papers presented at three symposia held in Limoges during the late 1990s that focused on the viol in England, France, and Germany, respectively; one article, by Ingo Muthesius on restoration, is listed separately below

The first and only book devoted to an overview of the viol’s history since Nathalie Dolmetsch’s pioneering but slim volume in 1962; the author’s aims are best conveyed by the subtitle of the original German-language edition (published in 1994): A Cultural History and Practical Guide

A collection of thirteen essays by different authors, mostly about notable players and repertoire but also including contributions by John Dilworth on “The cello: origins and evolution” and “The bow: its history and development”

A checklist based on the author’s pioneering electronic database and self-published as customized computer printouts, giving basic and highly abbreviated information about nearly 1,000 instruments (of all sizes and from all countries and centuries) made before the 20th century; since 1990 the database has been maintained, expanded, and updated by Thomas G. MacCracken for eventual publication on the internet

Traces the viol’s development up through the mid-16th century, first in Spain and Italy, later also in Germany and England, based especially on iconographical evidence but also covering repertoire as well as instruments and playing technique

Contains photos and brief descriptions of fifteen instruments acquired up to the date of publication, including the pardessus by Salomon and two by Guersan, the Guersan quinton, the anonymous French treble viol, and bass viols by Hasert, Karp, Lambert, Norman, Ouvrard, Seelos, and Tielke (c1685), violins by Bourlier and Pierray, and the Wachter cello

Contains photos and a description of a bass viol attributed to John Rose (no. 4) whose festoon-shaped body outline is very similar to one of the two viols in the Caldwell Collection attributed to Rose

A deluxe book with color photos and descriptions of many instruments, mostly from the violin family but also including four bass viols (by Rose, Jaye, Meares, and Norman) owned by the late Dietrich Kessler, in addition to essays by various experts

An in-depth and profusely illustrated study of 38 extant instruments (including the two bass viols in the Caldwell Collection attributed to Rose) together with the cultural and economic context in which they were made and played

A first attempt at listing Norman’s complete surviving output of both viols and violin-family instruments, including many about which information is unavoidably incomplete

Still the most comprehensive presentation of Rose’s biography and instruments

Includes photos of the Turner treble viol, then owned by the author

A recent and comprehensive dictionary of German makers, with text in three languages

The definitive study of this very important luthier, who is responsible for more extant viols than any other maker of the 17th or 18th centuries; supercedes the pioneering study by Friedemann Hellwig’s father (Günther Hellwig, Joachim Tielke, ein Hamburger Lauten- und Violenmacher der Barockzeit [Frankfurt am Main: Verlag das Musikinsturment, 1980])

A summary of the author’s research into the type of viola d’amore without sympathetic strings

Brief notes, illustrated with both photos and drawings, on various restoration projects carried out by the author, including on the Karpp and 1691 Tielke viols from the Caldwell Collection

A catalogue raisonné of extant instruments by this maker; lists the Caldwell Collection’s bass viol but without measurements or a description

Contains photos and a description of the anonymous viol in this museum (inv. no. MS-224) with J-shaped soundholes uniquely like those on the anonymous German bass in the Caldwell Collection

A thorough account of the instrument, its repertoire, and especially its playing technique in late 17th and early 18th-century France, based on contemporary writings

Three articles summarizing the author’s extensive research on this topic; he also wrote the entry on “Pardessus” for the New Grove Dictionary of Music

The author concludes that the quinton is indeed a viol, meant to be played on the legs and with a fretted neck

Discusses the close similarity of bass viols by Bertrand in the Caldwell Collection and at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Extensively documents and analyses the lives and output of French makers during the 18th century, supported by complete transcriptions of shop inventories taken at the time of their marriages and deaths; instruments illustrated include two bass viols by Bertrand (owned by the Musée de la musique and by Wieland Kuijken), another by Salomon, and a pardessus by Guersan

A catalogue raisonné of eight viols by Collichon, who not only made the earliest dated bass originally fitted with seven strings (in 1683), but also the earliest known pardessus

The most recent and accessible introduction to all four generations of this highly important family of makers

Contains photos of the Caldwell Collection’s Nicolò Amati cello, acquired through the author

One source for the disputed biography of Anton Wachter

Offers new information on Anton Wachter’s journeyman period; the author is director of the Füssen city museum, writing in the yearbook of that city’s historical society

Includes photos and descriptions of most of the museum’s two dozen viols, in particular a pardessus by Guersan and basses by Bertrand, Norman, and Rose (not all under the same searchable keyword, however)

Offers photos and descriptions of several thousand instruments in the museum’s collection (including 80 viols), together with measurements of some and sound recordings of a few; makers in common with the Caldwell Collection include Bertrand, Guersan, Lambert, Norman, Rose, and Salomon

Contains descriptions and numerous photos of more than 170 stringed instruments, including more than 40 antique viols (among them a pardessus by Guersan, three trebles by Turner, and a bass by Tielke, all sisters to examples by those makers in the Caldwell Collection—plus, as a “cousin,” a bass by Johann SellasSeelos, brother of Georg)