The work of my supervisors John Caldwell and Robert Spencer has been considerable in ensuring that I was not deflected from my original purpose, and in the arduous and unpleasant task of reading early work and later chapters. Robert Spencer went beyond the normal requirements of a supervisor by lending me some of his original sources, and allowing me unlimited access to his considerable collection of manuscripts and printed music. John Caldwell gave his time and encouragement whenever it was needed, as did his colleagues Dr H. D. Johnstone and from the English Faculty in Oxford, Malcolm Parkes.

I am exceptionally fortunate to have been working at a time when a number of other scholars have also been preparing dissertations on music in England during the period 1550-1650. This has meant that there is a substantial corpus of up-to-date data available on areas which the limitations of the present study have prevented me from pursuing. Knowing that these areas are being covered has made my work much simpler, and has given me exceptional resources for discussing my own research with scholars in the same field. I am particularly grateful to Lynn Hulse, Victor Coelho, Robert Thompson, Matthew Spring and Penny Gouk, who have allowed me access to their unpublished work, and in some cases have also generously provided me with copies of their doctoral dissertations. I am also particularly grateful to Lynda Sayce, who performed a marathon of proof-reading. The debt of the lute world to David Lumsden, who started it all, is surpassed only by the extraordinary knowledge and scholarship of Robert Spencer, who has been instrumental in publishing the major English lute sources in facsimile, and has supplied them with superb scholarly studies that include exceptional research into the provenance of the sources and their compilers, and exhaustive concordance lists. His work stands as a model of manuscript study and has formed the backbone of much of our knowledge of the lute sources. I have great respect for his scholarship and opinions, though I have with regret had to disagree with him occasionally. He has, however, shown a true scholar's attitude to my ideas and has always considered them with interest and amicably agreed to disagree in some cases.His work sets exceptionally high standards for all who follow him, and all future work will be measured against it.

As with any long-term project, those who have supported the work have changed with the years. I would like to acknowledge particularly the support of Craig Ayrey, Michael Burden, Richard and Liz Coleridge, Christopher, Sarah, Dominic, Tara and Clementine Franks, Steve Harrison,Louise Locock, and many other friends who are numbered but remain nameless.

I would like to acknowledge the financial support of the following:

Mr and Mrs G M Craig-McFeely
The Edward Boyle Memorial Trust
The University of Edinburgh Faculty of Music
Ian Honeyman and St Hugh's College, Oxford
The University of Oxford Faculty of Music
The Music and Letters Trust
The Ermuli Trust
The Musica Britannica Trust
The British Academy
St Anne's College, Oxford
This work is gratefully dedicated to my parents

Preposterous ass! that never read so far
To know the cause why music was ordain'd!
Was it not to refresh the mind of man
After his studies or his usual pain?
Then give me leave to read philosophy,
And while I pause serve you in harmony.

William Shakespeare The Taming of the Shrew III:i
The Lute Page Julia Craig-McFeely's Thesis Next