Courtlye Musick celebrated Mayday 2015 with a visit to our French colleagues, “Ars Nova”,  in Cherbourg. We gave an impromptu open rehearsal in a large Cherbourg church which attracted an attentive audience. We enjoyed playing together and are putting together a joint venture loosely based on melodies found in the Bayeux Manuscript.

In the past year Courtlye Musick have taken delivery of their new early 16th century “Linarol” viols from the Scottish maker Richard Jones. We are enjoying discovering repertoire that suits these wonderful instruments including Tenor Songs (three viols and voice)  from the late 15th and early 16th centuries and rediscovering works from the Henry VIII manuscript. The collection comprises Tenor viols in A and G, a Bass in D and a Great Bass in A which allows flexibility and variety in our choice of music.

A fortnight after collecting the largest of the new viols they were being used at the Leicester Early Music Festival in a concert featuring music for Richard III at Castle House. Martin and Anita played a half-hour concert which included music by composers such as Dunstable, Dufay and Josquin, French music from the Bayeux manuscript and English music from the Fayrfax and Henry VIII manuscripts.

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