Gaïta Medieval Music Performance

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Unfortunate Events group    
Photo by Violette Grinnaert

A Series of Unfortunate Events
A Musical 
History of Medieval Scotland

The story of the medieval Scottish Kings from the dynasty founded by Malcolm Canmore to the Stewarts is a series of brief periods of stability and hope punctuated by disastrous calamity. Beset by troubles from the English, the Norwegians, the Papacy and more often than not, their own nobility, these kings rarely died peacefully.

This programme is a brief history of the Scottish Kings, Courts and Musicians of the 13th and 14th centuries. It includes music written in Scotland (St Andrews Music Book, Inchcolm Antiphoner), music showing other's view of Scotland, and other contemporary sources, all interspersed with a narrative overview of this fascinating period of Scottish history and its relevance to the music.

Download the Programme Notes  (568KB)

Sample MP3s:  Ex te lux oritur

"This song was written to celebrate the marriage of Margaret, daughter of Alexander III, to King Eric of Norway. But in the short space of two years, Princess Margaret and both her brothers had died. King Alexander himself was killed soon after when he rode his horse over a cliff in Kinghorn during a fog. Scotland’s heir was now the infant daughter of Margaret and Eric – the Maid of Norway..."  

Sample MP3s:  Motet - Hare, Hare Hye! / Balaam    

"The Scots also had a reputation in France– in this drinking song the writer exclaims ,‘By St Andrew! These ale brewers are turning Arras into Scotland.’"

Sample MP3s:  Estampie on Hare, Hare, Hye!

Chris Elmes Bagpipes, fiddles, oud, percussion
Cait Webb: Shawms, harps, percussion
Stacy Schumacher: Oud, percussion
Andrew Casson: Recorders, citole, percussion
Tembu Rongong: Voice, Narrations

Contact: Chris Elmes 

(Edinburgh, Scotland)
(+44) 0131 557 2397

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Last updated 22nd February 2007