MUSIQUE FOR YE EARLES OF WARWICKE
We play medieval and renaissance music ranging from 11th to early 16th centuries. This is chosen from a very wide range of music, including rustic and courtly dances, drinking songs, sacred music of the common people and the high church. However, as you will read below, our choice of music is determined by what the Earls of Warwick might have heard in the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. Please go to Warwicke Past Programmes from the menu for further information on our repertoire. The instruments we use – principally bass viol, small “renaissance” guitar, recorders, percussion – are such as would be recognised at least at the end of our period. Pictures and descriptions of our instruments to follow. And of course we sing: soprano and tenor.
Our dress is such as would be worn by people of the middling sort the late 15th century.
Why “Musique for ye Earles of Warwicke?”
The medieval Earldom of Warwick was created in the time of William the Bastard, Duke of Normandy, known as the Conqueror. The Earls – and their Countesses – were in medieval times amongst the most powerful subjects of the Kings of England. Our favourite is Richard, the thirteenth earl who was born on 23 January 1382. He was a man of immense wealth: the friend of Henry V, Guardian of Henry VI, and Constable of Rouen Castle when Jeanne d’Arc was burned.
Richard married Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Baron Berkeley and their daughter, also Elizabeth, married Richard Neville, known as the infamous Kingmaker. Richard is portrayed in a wonderful gilt bronze effigy resting on his tomb and his children are both portrayed as weepers on the side of the tomb. Richard is shown, with his hands apart, gazing upon the Queen of Heaven depicted upon a boss in the roof.