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

Old English 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 5th May 2007

Another chance to attend this very popular day on the Anglo-Saxon hearpe or lyre, using replica instruments based on the finds from Sutton Hoo, Snape, and Prittlewell. We shall consider the place of the lyre in world music history, its musical character, and its use in relation to Old English poetry such as Beowulf and Widsith. The talks will be illustrated with music on various replica instruments, accompanied by poetry from Sam.

During part of the day some of the participants may chose to have a go with some of the instruments.

Provisional Programme
  10.00 Coffee on arrival  
  10.15 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  
  11.30 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  
  14:00 Old English hearpe tuning & playing.
More advanced demonstrations, coaching if appropriate, and exploring non-standard and 'off-key' tunings.
  15:00 Tea break  
  15:15 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 the speakers

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 £38, 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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