NORVIS 2018 :: July 2018


Renaissance Day at the NORVIS course expands each year to include challenging tasks for early musicians - this year, as well as the taught sessions and the voluntary ones, Andrew Fowler and Alison Kinder gathered a an ensemble 30+ players of recorders and viols with singers to play two three choir pieces, one to a part, by Hassler and Guerrero. The ensemble used eight of Richard's instruments across two of the choirs. 










We took six viols to Martin Barnett's inspiring free 7-week summer school for new viol players - Richard described aspects of the making process to the participants, we played to them and they played to us and a good time was had by all. This is a valuable initiative offering a rare opportunity to youngsters. 















    Thursday 9th - Saturday 11th November 2017


2017 is the one year in two that we shall be at Blackheath Halls (in the First Floor Recital Room) and of course we shall welcome you for a chat and a play - viols, bows and music at all levels provided.  In addition to bows which you can buy, and my standard set of a;g;d;A viols, which you can play, I will be exhibiting two sizes of treble viol, all based on the Francesco Linarol instrument.


On Saturday November 11th th at 12.30 pm The Rose Consort of Viols (Ibi Aziz, John Bryan, Alison Crum, Andrew Kerr and Roy Marks ) will give a ‘Maker's Demonstration Recital’ using the Linarol Viols in the The Quaker Meeting House, 2 Lawn Terrace.Blackheath SE3 9LL






               Delighted to share notice of this demonstration recital that was played at Greenwich

               in 2015



' Serenissima'


a recent CD by The Rose Consort of Viols

released on the Delphian label

available from     and in iTunes


this recording is a wonderful showcase for the Linarol viols :: 'all the sizes in the world'  

Treble; tenors in a and g; basses in d and A


  ' is the intensity of their listening, five musicians and a sound engineer, focussed on finding a perfect blend which yet lets the intricate parts speak, that is so striking. It is demanding and exhausting but by the end of the day deeply satisfying, food for the soul. Even we listeners are uplifted...'

from a diary entry :: Three Days in York - during which The Rose Consort of Viols recorded a CD on Richard Jones' viols.


Film made during the rehearsals for the recording :: NCEM York









Scottish Sycamore   


Many of the viols I have made over the last five years have bodies made from a superb figured sycamore tree that grew near the Old Cement Works, near Dunbar in East Lothian, Scotland.  



This is Ulrich Loening, my wood supplier, who travels all over Scotland in search of fine wood for musical instruments, standing by the Cement Works tree with a bark stripper. You can see the ripple in the trunk which gives the wild figures on the backs, necks, fingerboards and ribs of my instruments.




Early Music Courses


Our six viols go to early music courses at Durham. At Ambleside we have spent the afternoon playing with the very good singers who attend the course,after spending the morning coaching players new to renaissance viols. Sometimes these sessions seem too difficult, players trying a different instrument, sight-reading and making an ensemble can seem too much, but invariably, a sound comes and with it the smiles of pleasure that accompany accomplishment.  The afternoon repertoire was four-part French chansons which sound very sweet and sad with viols and voices. This may be our last Ambleside because the course is moving to The Wirral which is too far to travel in a day.


NORVIS at Durham, much more intensively viol centred, was a day of introducing experienced players to the early viol in groups of 5 and 6 - players were willing to try playing an unfamiliar size of instrument, even the challenging A-bass which stands about 5-feet tall and calls for wide finger spans. We played all day from 11.00 am to 6.30 pm 



Di Sei Bassi 


Netherurd House in the Scottish Borders - viol course with Alison Crum, Philip Thorby and Roy Marks. Ferrabosco I wrote a piece Di Sei Bassi, here played on three d-basses and three A-basses :



Vickie, Ursula, Els, Judith, Murray and Thomas playing 'Di Sei Bassi'

on six of Richard's viols - amazing deep sound......


Several RJ viols have been to Venice, where Francesco Linarol lived and made instruments. Some of them travelled in seats on the aeroplane alongside the players. 



Richard Jones Renaissance Viols exhibit bi-annually at the London International Exhibition of Early Music at the Old Naval College, Greenwich. A 'music room' is set up in the basement Skittle Alley where viol players of all ages and abilities drop in to play in ad hoc groups throughout the three days of the exhibition. The weekend features demonstration recitals, master classes and concerts of early music as well as the exhibition of instruments. 


Greenwich 2009



    Preparing for a Master Class with Alison Crum                                                 consort of 6 in the Skittle Alley                                     'Very Perfect' - music for Henry VIII

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Alison Crum & Friends play RJ viols