This part of the database contains information about people connected with the vihuela. The data is largely drawn from the long sixteenth century, c.1470–c.1630. It starts with the people who composed music for the vihuela, who played the instrument and who made vihuelas, the violeros. Beyond this, we list all of those whose names surface in archival documents. Many of them simply owned vihuelas, even if we cannot show that they played the instrument. Then, it includes all those who were connected with the vihuela in a commercial way: instrument dealers, importers and exporters, merchants, teachers, string makers, printers, book dealers, and so on. Poets and authors who mention the vihuela in their literary works are also included, together with the fictional characters who are named as vihuela players in these works. The list of people also includes the names of the artists who painted, sculpted or engraved illustrations of vihuelas. Where it has been judged relevant, we have also included relevant members of the family of noted vihuelists. The data also includes people who played a number of instruments as well as the vihuela, or where it is not clear whether they played plucked or bowed vihuelas. Furthermore, because the term vihuelista was sometimes used as a generic term for any kind of plucked instrument, there is much spillage and the data can be searched to find out about related instruments, especially the vihuela de arco, the guitar and the lute.
People can be searched or grouped according to the area of society in which they moved, by their social rank, professional group or the instrument with which each is associated. There is a more general field that answers the question “why is this person here?”
For most people, there is a brief biographical reference with links to other online sources. There is also a list of the source documents that provide the information about individual. It is easy to navigate back and forth between the person and the relevant document. Similarly, there are links to other people in the database with whom each individual is related. This is the way that we can establish networks of people involved with the vihuela.
Because it is increasingly important to document the modern history of the vihuela, we have also added material about significant people involved in the modern revival of the vihuela: players, scholars and makers.