Notes & Queries 2003 – 2004

The new York Waits CD, Yule Riding, is out now. For details of this and their current tour, visit their website at For a review, click here.

Renaissance Guitar update

Hello all.
First, I want to thank you for visiting my Early and Renaissance music site.
Second, many of you asked that I let you know when I updated, or added new selections. Well this is your notice. Just these last few weeks, I’ve added over 30 new Early Music pieces – still separated into country-of-orgin. All in the same spirit – free to play, download, burn-to-CD, distribute, etc. The additions are marked by a red NEW prefix in the song description.
I hope you enjoy these selections, and please feel free to pass on any comments or thoughts.
Regards; Jon Sayles
PS – I know that many of you are looking for the printed music to these selections. Susan Iadone, who transcribed almost all of them is currently putting together a plan to make these (and hundreds of other Early/Renaissance music) scores available. If you are interested in contacting her, ]]>.

More on Scarborough

The following comes from “A History of Scarborough” by J B Baker, 1882. Although not citing original sources, it does give a couple of named members, their duties, the colour of their livery and the amount of their remuneration in the late eighteenth century.
“During the last century, the Waits were persons who received a small salary from the corporation of £4 per annum each, and were habited in blue clothes. Bartholomew Johnson, who lived to be 104 years old, and whose portrait hangs in the Town Hall, and Thomas Bielby, the first organist of St. Mary’s Church, with two others, used to take their rounds at Christmas and on New Year’s Eve, and play at the residences of the principal inhabitants. Scarbrough at that time, 1790, was not lighted even with oil lamps in the streets, and the inhabitants carried hand lanterns. Thw Waits commenced their rounds on Martinmas Eve and continued till Christmas. The inhabitants were waited on Christmas for their donations, which were booked in musical characters instead of figures, thus, a semibreve stood for 5s., a minim for 2s. 6d., a crochet for 1s., and a quaver for 6d.. These blue cloak men had many privileges given them. They were invited to play at corporation feasts once a year; and often when on their rounds to enter and play in private houses.”
Alan Radford, Leeds Waits. See also below

Britons Strike Home

I attach a midi file of “Britons Strike Home”, (click here to listen) as played by the Leeds Waits according to a report in “The Leeds Mercury” in November 1739, to add to your collection of tunes played by waits:
“war with Spain declared with the usual solemnity by the Mayor, Aldermen, Common Council etc., the Town’s Musick playing before them ‘Britons Strike Home!'”
It is from the opera “Bonduca” (1695) by Henry Purcell, but as a patriotic song it must have maintained its popularity for half a century, despite being re-used by Dr Pepusch with somewhat different words by John Gay in “The Beggar’s Opera”.
The only other piece I have evidence of them playing, a familiar little tune, comes from a report in the same newspaper in 1792:
“Many associations were formed about this time for the protection of liberty and property against ‘republicans and levellers’. Meetings were held in Leeds to make public Declarations of Loyalty to the Constitution, and ‘God Save The King’ was sung in the Parish Church, accompanied by the organ ‘in excellent time’, and it was also sung at the Market Cross and other places aided by the Town’s Band.”
Alan Radford, The Leeds Waits.

For more on “Britons Strike Home”, see the entry from David Jackson

Shrewsbury Waits Badge

The Retford badge is wonderful. How about tracking down a picture ofthe Shrewsbury one listed at
Alan Radford, The Leeds Waits

Retford Badges

I was trying to find the Archives for Worksop when I found these! [pictures and descriptions of the Retford Waits’ badges] Go to then click on collections and then pick silver. don’t stop at the first one! There are two more at the end!Enjoy!
Roger Offord (Doncaster Waits).
See the results of Roger’s research into Sheffield and Manchester Waits in our History section.

Frank Kidson’s definition of Waits

Attached is Frank Kidson’s 1904 Grove entry on waits.
Dr Alan Radford, School of Biology, The University of Leeds.
Click here to see the entry, and Alan’s comments.

Sheffield & Manchester Waits

Dear James,
Have just found a source of information for the Sheffield Waites and the Manchester Waites. Which includes good references to the link between pipers and Waites. Yes they are the same! I am just about to extract the details, but thought I would just check that nobody (as far as you know) has been there before me! The Records of the Burgery of Sheffield by J. D. Leader.
Just a taste!

“1567   Item, paid for iii yerds of whyte clothe for the pyper or wayte of the towne after xvii d. the yerde   iiii s. iii d.

Roger Offord (the Doncaster Waites)
See the results of Roger’s research into Sheffield and Manchester Waits in our History section.

Pipers are Waits!

Here’s a new discussion document.(Click Here) Hope you like it and want to post it in Notes & Queries.
I’m beginning to ‘do’ Canterbury & Kent. Data should be interesting. Better finish Bristol first, tho’ but!
James Merryweather.
Since sending this paper on the relationship between pipers and Waits, James has discovered new evidence from Dover which appears to prove once and for all that they were one and the same thing! Watch this space for further developments!

UPDATE – 12/05/04
The Canterbury records are exceptional and taking up a lot of time.
I’ve just reached the late 1490s (working back from 1632) references to the waytes in English and, in Latin vigili (plural vigilius) dicte Ciuitatis.
So, in Canterbury anyway, the translation of wait is vigili
wait = vigili = wait
just the translation, not necessarily the duties of the watchman, but I’m still working backwards.
This gets better:
We knew this, but it will add confidence to records of histrionionibus in other civic records:
histrionibus seu vigilibus Cantuarie
REED translation: “entertainers or waits of Canterbury”
…..and we know vigilibus = waits
This gets more betterer:
1416-7 Pledges of three named waits for their silver and enamelled scutcheons. Yes, 1416!
It couldn’t get any better could it? . . . . .
1401-2 iij scutorum argenteorum de armis ciuitatis liberatorum histrionibus dicte ciuitatis xxvj s. viij d.
. . . . and that was the first record of waits in Canterbury. I wonder if it was their foundation year?
And the last? I hear you ask. Well, of course this is REED so it stops in 1641, but the last REED record is:
1640-1 It is ordered that in respect of the misdmenor of this Citty musick the Escutchons of the Citty shalbe called in by master Chamberleyn & if they refuse to deliuer the same then to be sued for them by master Chamberleyn & the said Citty musick & company are hereby absolutely dischardged & dissolued.
What follows was the original purpose of this e-mail. Now I wonder.
However, here’s a snippet for notes & queries:
Canterbury City Chamberlains’ Accounts 1505-6
Item paide to Richard waren for to speke with the waytes att Camberege to brynge them to Canterbury. vj s. viij d.
Richard Warren was not one of the Canterbury waits. No mention of them in 1505-6, but the previous year there were two of them: pygeon and (Nicholas) Ryppis. No names of the 3 Cambridge waits at that time. The word waytes was used for the first time a few years previously in 1499: “histrionem vocatrium waytes. They were not called waits regularly until 1516.

Historical Violin Newsletter

Dear Madam/Sir,
I own Historical Violin Workshop in Brussels. A year ago I started publishing a Historical Violin Newsletter (ISSN 1379-8502; 4 to 8 pages). Most of my subscribers are professionals (soloists, teachers, conductors, Sigiswald and Barthold Kuijken, La Petite Bande manager etc.), and according to them the newsletter is worth reading.
However, publishing it takes considerable time and effort, I would like try and publicise it further. I wonder if you could help me in ways of distribution – either by sending it once to your string players with your next orchestral schedule (which shouldn’t cost too much extra postage) or by delivering a copy of it to your concertmaster or to your string principles, who in turn might recommend it to their colleagues.
Should you consider such help possible, please, reply to this email and include your mailing address so that I can send the Newsletter to you.
Thanks for reading this. Looking forward to hearing from you;
Dmitry Badiarov – violin maker
Back to top

Lord Mayor of London’s Triumphs

23 April 2004
Dear Chris,
I trust that the enclosed chapter, “Music in the barges at the Lord Mayor’s Triumphs in the Seventeenth Century” will be of interest. (see bibliography) You will note the distinctions made between the use of wind bands, corps of trumpets, and drums and fifes on the barges. It seems that having been granted the use of the King’s Trumpeters, the Lord Mayor(s) would of course use them for the maximum “show”. Interestingly, there is the specific reference to the City Waits not taking part in the water-borne part of the day’s proceedings. You will recall the print which I gave you some time ago, which showed the Lord Mayor’s Barge circa 1805, complete with musicians inred cloaks apparently playing clarinets or oboes. Perhaps things had changed in the interveningcentury. The article refers to 5 and 6-piece ensembles playing sackbuts, with shawms orcornetts; this must surely indicate that some of the livery companies were hiring the Waits ofsome of the boroughs surrounding the city of London. I assume that the only other source ofmusicians would be ‘ad hoc’ bands of musicians normally employed in the theatres, or militarybands. However, the latter didn’t appear in Britain until the establishment of ‘hautboys’ in theHorse Grenadier Guards in 1678. And these ensembles consisted of 4 or 6 hautbois and 1 or 2curtals; the sackbut didn’t feature in British military bands of the period (trombonesoccasionally appeared around 1800).
Kind Regards,
David Jackson.
See alsoLord Mayor of London’s Barge

International Festival of Town Pipers

Dear friends,
Recently you received an invitation for the “1st European festival of Town Pipers”.
Beforehand it promises to become a success.
The York Waits, The Doncaster Waits, The Leeds Waits and The King’s Lynn Waits have already promised to come to ‘s-Hertogenbosch in September. The Leicester Waits and The Norwich Waits are unfortunately not able to be present.
We would like to know from you at your earliest convenience if your group is going to join in.
We expect it to become a festival that people will talk about for years or like James Merryweather wrote us: “This should be a weekend of fun!”.
If you have any questions please contact Marcel Ploegmakers +31 73 6123888 or send an]]>.
Click here for more details.
Back to top

Scarborough Wait

Bartholomew Johnston, Scarborough wait 1710 – 1814 YES! 104!’cello and a wonderful bassoon with a flared bell and sign of a flat brass key as on baroque and old church bassoons (for outdoor work?)The museum has a ‘cello and case alleged to have been hisThey won’t open the case specially as it’s a museum piece in itself, but will let us know if/when it is going to happen for other purposes. Two portraits, one when he must be in his 70s and another post 100 years.
James Merryweather  see Pictures section and also aboveBack to top

Beverley Waits

Here is some stuff I’ve excavated about the Beverley Waits. There will be more as Pam is researching them and other East and North Riding waits rather more thoroughly pre-1700.
Alan Radford. Click here to see Pamela and Alan’s finds  Back to top

Leeds Wait’s Grave

Next time you’re down this way you can visit the grave of Thomas Crawshaw, the last Leeds Wait. According to Hadland, musical honours were played to his memory at the funeral. He’s burial 14144, grave 6641 according to the register of burials at Beckett Street Cemetery, Burmantofts, Leeds. Don’t forget to take a machete or a flame-thrower as he’s well-protected by nettles and brambles.
Alan Radford
See our new page of Waits’ Graves.

Switter Swatter

A new CD from the Oxford Waits.

You can pick up details from It’s jolly good and well worth a listen.
James Merryweather.  Back to top

Mute Cornett & Cornettino Yahoo Groups

Mute Cornett:
If you play this instrument or have an interest in this type of cornett, this group may be of interest. MP3 samples, MIDI, PDF and Sibelius scores of music featuring the mute cornett will be available to members.
(I have already set up a Database for this group – a list of some of my recordings featuring mute cornetts. Members are invited to contribute information or improve my database in any way!)

I’ve also set up another group devoted to the cornettino. Here is the link:
Steven Langley Guy
Back to top

Renaissance & Early Music for Guitar

Hello all,
I’m an ex-classical guitarist (Hartt College of Music, 1974) who’sbeen in the software industry for awhile – but never left the field of music emotionally or spiritually.
I’ve recently recorded and made available for free download (via WinZip files) and/or play via .MP3 files(if your computer is connected to speakers) ~24 classical-guitar renditions of English/French/Spanish/German and Italian Renaissance and pre-Renaissance madrigals, chansons, dances and part-music.
I suspect that many of these pieces are in the main-stream of Renaissance and Early Music performance group repertoire, but some may be new to folks, and a few are relatively obscure. All are glorious, engaging and deserve more “ear time” – like much of the pre-Baroque repertoire. And my sole motivation in doing this project is to gain these masterpieces playing time. They were my favorites at Hartt College – and I really never see themperformed – which is a dis-service to the composers.
You can access the selections here:
…and either download (by clicking on the link to the zip files, organized by country), or simply play them, one at a time (by clicking on the song title).
They’re all free (of course). My personal favorites are:

English pieces:
Witches’ Dance

German pieces:
Ich weiss nit
Der Hund
Von Edler Art

Spanish pieces:

French pieces:
Allon gay gay bergeres

Italian pieces:
O Rosetta

…however, it’s a bit difficult to choose (kind of a “Sophie’s Choice”) – as they all have character and deserve to be less obscure.
The .MP3 files range between 1 and 3 megs each – the downloads between 3 and10 megs, each – so if you don’t have DSL/Cable-Modem, they may take a few minutes to play. Anyway, hope you enjoy… feel free to pass the link along to group members or download and burn a CD from the .zip files.
Jon Sayles
IBM Software Group
Coventry, CT  Back to top

Stadspijpers Jubilee

Hello Chris,
I have “small” and “great” news for you. First the small news: our website is translated in English. The address is From this moment on you can read everything about the City Pipers of ‘s-Hertogenbosch (stadspijpers) in your language.We have lots of visitors from other countries than the Netherlands. Each month we have 900 visitors, more than 50% come from outside Europe!
Now the great news. In 2004 the City Pipers celebrate a jubilee. It is 20 years ago that the Stadspijpers were re-established. We are organizing a great International Festival of Town Pipers in the weekend of 10- 11- and 12 September 2004 in ‘s-Hertogenbosch (the Netherlands). Place these dates in your diary and hold them free!!! You will hear about it within a short time.
All the best.
Marcel Ploegmakers.

Costume Bands Website

A new website listing all types of bands and solo artists who perform in costume. Well worth a look!
Back to top

Double Reed Workshop

There will be a workshop for double reed instrument players in Antwerp (Belgium) on Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 February. The workshop is organised by MAGO “Muziekacademie van het GemeenschapsOnderwijs” and Patrick Denecker (la Caccia, Capilla Flamenco …..) is in charge.
You can find more information (in Flemish) on the website of the Music Academy
We won’t be alone during this weekend; there are also workshops for sackbut (Wim Becu), viola da gamba (Piet Stryckers), recorder (Peter De Clercq), barockviolin (Ann van Laethem), harpsichord (Christine Wauters) harpischord and singing (Luc Vanvaerenbergh) and organ (Marc Van Driessen).
See you in Antwerp
Walter Bosman