Fleming, Michael (2013) John Evelyn on Musical Instrument Wood. The Galpin Society Journal, 66. ISSN 0072-0127
Abstract

Prominent among the life-long interests of the polymath diarist John Evelyn (1620–1706) were natural history and gardening. His book about trees and wood titled Sylva was first published in 1664 then expanded for subsequent editions. He made a point of identifying the uses that many of the trees served, including how their woods were used. His comments include noting that various woods had particular uses for musical instruments. This article traces and compares musical references in the four editions of Sylva published during Evelyn’s lifetime, noting also his information about woods that are now used for instruments, although he did not identify such a use for them, and some other common woods. His comment that the wood of euonymus europea was used for viol bows is unprecedented in the English literature.

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