adapted from a design by George Bain based on the Book of Kells home Programme Bookings Shop The Wuffings .
Wuffing Education

Old English Harp Music and Verse Workshop

The model of an Old English king - King David from the eighth-century Canterbury Vespasian Psalter

with Dr Graeme Lawson
and Dr Sam Newton

at Tranmer House, Sutton Hoo (map)
on Saturday 7th May 2005

Another chance to participate in a hands-on exploration of the Sutton Hoo lyre - its place in world music history, its ownership, its musical character, and its use with Old English poetry.


Provisional Programme
  10.00 Coffee on arrival  

Archaeology, music and tradition.

Setting the scene, with slides of musical iconography and musical finds, looking at selected archaeological materials from Roman to medieval date

  11.15 Coffee  

Harps and lyres in ancient tradition

A live comparison of what harps and lyres sound and feel like, with the aid of working reconstructions.

  12.30 Lunch break  

Old English hearpe tuning & playing

More advanced demonstrations, coaching if appropriate, and exploring non-standard and 'off-key' tunings.

  15:00 Tea break  

The hearpe & Old English poetry

Exploring the musical sound of the Old English language, heroic 'poetry', storytelling, and further experiments in instrumental/vocal ensemble.

  16:15 Close  

About Graeme Lawson and Sam Newton

Sam Newton and Graeme Lawson

Graeme Lawson is an archaeologist and composer who has made his life's work the exploration of music's pre- and proto-history. One of his passions is the Anglo-Saxons and their instrumental music, as revealed by archaeology. An experienced lecturer and performer, and one of Europe's most expert lyre-players, Dr Lawson is a Fellow of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, Cambridge University.

Sam Newton was awarded his Ph.D in 1991 and his first book, The Origins of Beowulf and the pre-Viking Kingdom of East Anglia, was published in 1993. He is a Director of Wuffing Education and has been researching, lecturing, and writing as an independent scholar in Wuffing and Early Medieval Studies for many years. His latest book, The Reckoning of King Rædwald, was published in 2003.

Some suggestions for further reading
(useful but not essential)

Alexander, M. (tr.), The Earliest English Poems (Penguin 1966)

Bruce-Mitford, R., Aspects of Anglo-Saxon Archaeology (Gollancz 1974)

Lawson, G., & S.Rankin, 'Music', 'Chant', & 'Musical Instruments', The Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Anglo-Saxon England , ed. M.Lapidge (Oxford 2000)

New Grove (Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians) (Palgrave Macmillan 1970)


Please phone or email to check the availability of places and then send the application form and a cheque for £35, payable to Wuffing Education to:

Wuffing Education,
4 Hilly Fields,
Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 4DX
(tel : 01394 386498)

Email cliff AT
(replace 'AT' by '@' in order to send email - we used 'AT' to avoid spam robots automatically sending us emails)

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