“Is it not strange that sheeps' guts should hale souls out of men's bodies?” says Shakespeare’s Benedict. The sound from a vibrating string has enamored us for millennia. Modern stringed instruments are standardized and mass produced, and except for folk and ethnic music the diversity of string sounds from Medieval and Renaissance times are strangely silent.
Dr. McWilliams has been reconstructing early stringed instruments for over twenty years. Based on historical documents, psalters, art, and the physics of sound, his collection includes citoles, gitterns, vielles, rebecs, lutes and many other plucked, strummed, bowed, and hammered instruments. In this presentation, he will examine the early beginnings of several string families. Participants will have the opportunity to view and play a variety of historical replicas.