Chalemie Summer School

[engraving of carriage full of instrumentalists]

Course in Instrumental Music

Fancy revisiting some of the familiar treasures as well as exploring the more unusual aspects of early music? This may be just the opportunity you need!

Led by lute/hurdy-gurdy player Matthew Spring, instrumental music is offered as a principal study, and players of renaissance instruments (recorders, viols, sackbuts, shawms, curtals, cornets, dulcimers, harps, hurdy-gurdys, guitars and other early or suitable modern instruments) are invited to come and explore our course for instrumental musicians. A limited number of early wind instruments – shawms, sackbuts, crumhorns, etc. - will be available for loan. We will use a standard pitch of A440.


Matthew Spring
hurdy-gurdy, lute,
guitar, viol

[photo of Matthew]


Bill Tuck
pipe & tabor,
[photo of Bill]

Courses will be arranged to suit both beginners and advanced students and the programme will be devised to allow students to try out a variety of new skills or to follow their personal interests under the guidance of specialist tutors.

Whether it is dance & consort music, advice on the more arcane aspects of hurdy-gurdy playing (Matthew Spring), medieval and renaissance improvisation techniques, pipe & tabor playing (Bill Tuck and Atsufumi Ujiie) or song accompaniment, our course is bound to have something to interest you!

This year will again feature a week-long workshop for Waits instruments (shawm, sackbut, curtal, cornett, etc.) led by well-known performer and teacher Tim Bayley. For part of the period this will divide into specialist sectional groups for shawms (and other double reed instruments) and sackbuts (or other brass-wind). Appropriate wind instruments will also be encouraged to join with the singers in regular workshops for the rehearsal of large-scale renaissance mixed poly-choral pieces.

There will also be a 3 day course in natural trumpet playing led by Katie Hodges (Friday to Sunday). This will be open to all those seeking an introduction to the technique of playing the ventless natural trumpet and will cover the basic ensemble repertoire of the 17th and 18th centuries, as well as an introduction to the virtuoso works of the baroque period. Baroque timpani will be available. Applicants may enrol for just the three days if they wish, or for the full week.

Additional workshops open to instrumentalists will include theatre songs, dances, commedia skills and period costume making. We shall also be exploring some of the history of English 18th century theatre, including the origins of Pantomime and its links to the 16th century Italian Commedia dell’ Arte and the French Commedie-Ballet.