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Apr 01

Play It Again, Nigel

TO CELEBRATE THE RELEASE OF MY LATEST BOOK, Defiant Passion, ONE LUCKY COMMENTER WILL WIN A FREE COPY.

Music was an essential part of life for medieval people. They loved it. Because their world was not as filled with noise as ours is, they had more discerning hearing. When a dog barked, they knew whose dog it was. They were sensitive to voices and they listened intently to music. I know you will enjoy the video at the end.

Here are some popular medieval instruments.

Gittern
This particular GITTERN was a gift from Queen Elizabeth I to Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester. It was a small, round backed instrument, like a lute, but earlier versions had no neck. The “neck” was an extension of its teardrop shaped body. It had four or five strings and was plucked with a quill plectrum.

Citole

The citole had a holly leaf shaped body, a short neck, a flat back and three or four pairs of strings which were plucked with the fingers.

Shawm



This modern day troubadour is playing a shawm, a long wooden pipe with a double reed at the top, like a modern bassoon, and a bell shape at the bottom. It resembles the main pipe in a set of bagpipes, but is much larger.

Nakers

Nakers were metal drums, like kettledrums, played in pairs suspended  from the waist.

Rebec

Here we see a REBEC, a fiddle with three strings, played with a bow.

Psaltery
This is a detail of painting entitled Angel with A Psaltery. This was a metal stringed harp, usually in a square box plucked with a quill.

Hurdy-gurdy player

 The HURDY-GURDY was a stringed instrument played by the rotation of a hand driven wheel passing over the strings.

Please be truly entertained by this modern day performance by a gifted hurdy gurdy player, Nigel Eaton.

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