Medieval Music in the (Virtual) Dales

Online: September 11th-13th 2020 on a screen near you...

Our Online Festival this year is a mix of:

  • live performance

  • original recorded video receiving its premiere at our event

  • workshops

  • talks

  • informal gatherings.

All information is correct at this time, but the programme is unavoidably subject to change.

How to Join In

Medieval Music in the (Virtual) Dales is FREE to all to join in.

Donations are welcome, but there is no charge. All donations will be used to pay 

musicians for their generous contributions to our festival.

You can join in over the weekend  via Zoom  - the link is below. 

Here is the live link to Zoom (you'll be taken to the waiting room first). A few clicks and you'll be in!  Don't forget, it all gets underway on Sunday at 10am - see you then!



Meet the Artists.

An informal chance to meet, and hear a bit of music from, our concert

performers Archaedium, Gaita, Peppe Frana, Steve Tyler of Woodwose,

Vagarem and Trouvere.


Friends will receive a Zoom invitation for Friends' Friday by email on or by Friday 11th September.

Friday 11th September - FRIENDS' FRIDAY

This year's Online Festival - and indeed the immediate future of Medieval Music in the Dales - has been secured by the support of our wonderful Friends organisation. In recognition of their generosity, the Friday of the Online Festival is reserved for Friends. 


Workshop with Stef Conner: Medieval Echoes in Folksong. An 

opportunity to work with this amazing performer who wowed us all at

MMitD 2018 (right).

Saturday 12th September


Welcome to the Festival!

Castle Tour One

Over the course of the weekend, Gill and Paul of Trouvere will take you on a tour of Bolton Castle and its environs - the home of the live festival. The tour begins with a look at Castle Bolton village and St Oswald's Church. This is the venue for our live concerts during the festival, and we will hear some music from Steve Tyler and Woodwose followed by a chance to meet Steve and offer up any questions you might have. 

12 noon                     

Talk: Medieval Dance

A talk on medieval dance with dancer and dance historian Charlotte Ewart. who will present some of her research and interpretation of the medieval estampie.  Plenty of opportunity for Q&A!

Followed by the first episode of Trouvere's Medieval Instrumentarium. Over the summer, Paul and Gill of Trouvere have been working on a video showcasing an incredible range of medieval instruments. This first episode deals with early medieval instruments, with tunes from the tenth through to thirteenth centuries.


Castle Tour Two                        

The second instalment of our tour of Bolton Castle takes us down to the Courtyard and then back up inside to the Tavern - and music from Castle Stage performers Wulffengrimm, Consort of 1 and Pease Pottage


House Concert with Gaita.

Unable to resist their now annual visit to Castle Bolton,

the musicians of Gaita are basing themselves at their

usual holiday cottage in the village - which is the

venue for this live 'house concert'. Amazing!
Today's concert features music from the fourteenth

century - programme available here.



Castle Tour Three                  

In the third instalment of our Castle Tour, trek up the winding spiral staircase to the Solar of Bolton Castle, and then along the passageway to the Great Chamber. This is usually the home to our Instrument Makers' Exhibition, so next we have some visits to the workshops of a couple of our regular and wonderful instrument makers. 

·       Eric Moulder will explain how he is working

         with woods from the Castle Bolton estate to make

         his historical reed instruments.​ Live from Eric's workshop!

·       Then it's a trip north to Strathpeffer, west of Inverness,

         and the workshop of Ardival Harps (right).

There'll be an opportunity to ask questions after each tour.



A vocal workshop on the medieval sequence, with Leah Stuttard.

"In my workshop, we'll have a look at a genre of medieval music which was super important in England, but which doesn't seem to be performed so often. You all know "Sumer is icumen in" of course! But did you know that the manuscript where it's written down contains 9 other songs, 8 of which are sequences? The sequence has a musical and poetic form that has no modern equivalent; each short section of music is repeated, usually twice and then it progresses on to new musical and poetic material, with each new bit also being repeated - you could call it progressive repetition.

If you want to expand your knowledge a bit and maybe consider adding some unusual and rarely heard stuff to your repertoire you might enjoy my workshop. I'll give a brief intro to the sequence and related medieval music genres like the lay and the estampie, then we'll listen to some performances before moving on to discuss performance strategies. We'll also do some singing together/apart."

Here are some really useful notes for the workshop prepared by Leah, including further reading and a discography.


Harp and Psaltery                 

Bill Taylor of Ardival Harps demonstrates the medieval harp and psaltery. 



In the Tavern                        

Back to the Tavern for more Castle Stage performances.



The Online Concert.

Live and pre-recorded music from Stef Conner, Woodwose, Peppe Frana, Trouvere with Richard de Winter, Archaedium and Vagarem.



Finish off the evening with a chat in our Virtual Tavern. 

Sunday 13th September


Castle Tour Four

The final instalment of our Castle Tour begins on the

battlements of Bolton Castle, before leading downstairs

to Lord Scrope's Chamber and Queen Mary's Chamber

- and music from L'Herba Fresca.




Reeds care and maintenance with Lizzie Gutteridge 

12 noon         


Medieval lute and gittern workshop with Peppe Frana



Talk: The Dance of Death 

Medieval historian (and stalwart festival Steward) Natasha Coombs discusses this fascinating late medieval phenomenon. Followed by....

Trouvere’s Medieval Instrumentarium.

Over the summer, Paul and Gill of Trouvere have been working on this video showcasing an incredible range of medieval instruments. This concluding part takes us from the Cantigas de Santa Maria through to the end of the fifteenth century.



Vocal workshop on medieval song with Richard de Winter. The workshop will look at the highly entertaining pastourela by Marcabru: 'L'autrier jost' una sebissa'. It's a great narrative and also a dialogue, with a cracking tune, making it great fun to present.

You might like to take a look in advance and have the music and words to hand...

·       Here's a link to the  lyrics and translation .

·       Here's a link to the music.

Here's a recording of Richard singing a couple of verses.


House Concert with Gaita    

A second 'House Concert' with Gaita, live from Castle Bolton. Today's concert festures music from the thirteenth century - programme available here.



Farewell for this year!

Medieval Music in the Dales is organised and run by Trouvere Medieval Minstrels

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© 2019 by Medieval Music in the Dales, Yorkshire, England. Proudly created with

Photos of Medieval Music in the Dales 2016 by Quentin Budworth or Lesley Dunn

unless otherwise credited on the page. Photos of Medieval Music in the Dales 2017 by participants including Philippe Bolton,

Phil Keen, Richard and Carol Benson, Yvonne Napper and Lesley Dunn.

Photographs of MMitD 2018 and 2019 by Gullwing Photography ( and various participants.