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Performing Arts Car Park (P1) is closed

Bass Viol donated to QPAC Museum

The handmade string instrument and bow are the latest additions to the Collection

1 min read

A handmade string instrument and bow are the latest additions to the QPAC Museum Collection. The bass viol (Viol da Gamba) is predominantly made of Australian timbers and features an inlaid neck, hand turned tuning heads, and hand tied frets.

The instrument was made by Geoff Wills, (pictured below left) the foundation President of the Early Music Society of Queensland (EMSQ) in 1974, and a huge influence in the early music movement in Queensland. A merchant seaman, Geoff would go to sea and return with an instrument, or part of, completed. During his life he made over 250 instruments. His long-time colleague, Doug Eaton, (pictured below right) made the bow to accompany the viol.


Both the viol and the bow were made about 40 years ago and each bear the name of their maker.

The pieces were donated from EMSQ as a memorial to Geoff’s work promoting viols and making stringed instruments. It is the first string instrument to have been donated to the QPAC Museum Collection.

The QPAC Museum Collection houses more than 70,000 items – costumes, photographs, set and costume designs, recordings, lighting plots, annotated scripts and memorabilia – that all form part of the story of Queensland’s performing arts history.

We are always grateful to those who offer gifts of cultural material to our Collection. If you might have something for us, read more about our Donation Guidelines here.


Acknowledgement of Traditional Custodians

We pay our respects to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ancestors of this land, their spirits and their legacy. The foundations laid by these ancestors – our First Nations Peoples – gives strength, inspiration and courage to current and future generations, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, towards creating a better Queensland.