Medieval Music and a modern day celebration …

This year we are celebrating a number of events within my family, including several birthdays and a wedding.  We have booked a live band for one particular party and intend to re-live the 1980’ and 90’s via our favourite music. Of course my taste will not suit all the guests and may be considered a little loud for some, but it did get me thinking. What if I were organising the same type of festivity in 1361? Which minstrels would I hire and what would I have them play?

I can hardly compare an electric guitar to the harp, but the ethereal sound of the latter always stirs the ‘medieval’ in me. The following piece, played to perfection by Sarah Deere-Jones is a perfect example.

Another favourite  ‘Arrival to the Oxford Market’ has a lively movement and is a worthy inclusion on the ‘dance list’.

I play the recorder (very badly and with little fluidity) and love the purity of the sound that can be produced by a professional musician. This piece by Ernst Stoltz, is his interpretation of the Trotto from a manuscript located within the British Library.

Of course there are musicians whose compositions are not officially ‘medieval’ in content. Loreena McKennitt is one such artist and her Never-ending Road is particularly poignant and special to Cathy T and I. The character and tone of Loreena’s voice is haunting and when accompanied by the cello and violins and her beautiful lyrics, you can’t help but be moved.

And my favourite of the moment has to be – Game of Thrones. I may just suggest this be played as my guests arrive … but not for the wedding methinks!

Cathy A


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