Early Music Muse is intended to appeal to both beginners and specialists in medieval and renaissance music.

This site is written by Ian Pittaway, singer and player of medieval, renaissance and early baroque music on period instruments – harp, gittern, citole, simfony, medieval and renaissance lutes, bray harp, cittern, 4 course guitar, mandore, and koboz. Most articles on Early Music Muse have an accompanying performance video. These videos are also collected on one page here.

The content of articles on Early Music Muse and Ian Pittaway’s performance videos are © Ian Pittaway. They are not to be reproduced elsewhere without written permission.

The purpose of Early Music Muse is:

a starting point for those new to the subject, with entries, for example, on historical periods of music – medieval, renaissance and baroque – and their associated instruments, such as the citole, gittern, medieval harp, portative organ, psaltery, rebec, lute, orpharion, bandora, guitar, and bray harp.

• to present new research and analysis, with entries, for example, on the stunningly crafted (and never before analysed, as far as I know) Boissart mandore in the V&A; a detailed picking-through of the many myths surrounding Greensleeves; a series about the 13th century Cantigas de Santa Maria; a three part series on the evidence for how to arrange and perform medieval music in an historically informed way; a series about Elizabethan clown and taborer Richard Tarleton; an article with a recording of 3 polyphonic songs from c. 1200, 2 of which have not been previously recorded; a series about the neglected and magnificent 14th century stone carvings of minstrels in Beverley Minster; a re-examination of the 14th century ‘gittern’ found in Elbląg, Poland, which is really a koboz; and a regular return to manuscripts to interpret medieval and renaissance music from the source.

• to link early music to its musical, historical and cultural context through an examination of individual songs and tunes.

To view an index of all the articles on this website, click here.

To contact Ian, use the form below.