Thursday, December 18, 2008

Another source for Medieval sheet music and instruments

Well, I met a new friend, and found a great resource. In the SCA circles I am part of, I meet lots of other people with similar musical ambitions and abilities. Recently, I put a call out for people to join a blogroll for medieval music, since we are such a small community, and one of the responders was "HL Aleyn Wyckington Gentleman Pyper and Maker of Devices Most Musical.

Like me, Aleyn plays medieval bagpipes, and shares my pain. :)

Though his blog is rather personal, and really only useful to people who actually know him, he has a non-bloggy website that he uses to sell his music instruments and offers free information on their care and maintenence, or as he likes to call it "Care and feeding".

His site is called Aleyn's Instruments, and I should draw your attention to the "Docs & Downloads" section. Here is a wealth of information about how to use and care for your Saxon lyre, Epinette, Cornamuse, Various specialized bagpipes, and the Scottish hornpipe (not just a chanter with a windcap). He also has one of those things from my last blog -- a PDF of sheet music for bagpipes! Dig in.

While you're at it, check out his incredible hand-made instruments. He makes authentic medieval Bagpipes, cornamuses, recorders, harps, and other instruments. Since I know that not a lot of people know of my blog yet, I'm sure that he won't get inundated with orders. There's a sort of double-edged sword to being a historic instrument maker. On the one hand, you can guarantee yourself business since few people make the instruments that you do. On the other hand, you can get inundated with work, because it takes weeks and sometimes months to complete a single instrument, and customers can wait upwards of a year or more for their instrument if you become well known. sadly, not all instrument makers earn enough off of their craft to quit their day job. I've never met one who has, but that's the nature of the beast. Only by achieving real national or international fame can instrument makers, like recording artists, earn their living from their hobby. Let's wish him luck, anyway. So, Aleyn, I'd like to order a cornamuse from you, before you get flooded with work! :)


Gaston de Clermont said...

Do you know Al Cofrin? He's a music laurel. He plays bagpipes in Istampitta, and Clandestine. They're both fantastic bands, with the former focusing on early music and the later doing Celtic. He's done some arrangements we use a lot which you can pick up here:
They're far from free, but for our band they've paid for themselves several times over. Unfortunately his own web site got hacked recently, though the link above works if you want to pick up some of his sheet music.

Gaston de Clermont said...

Another useful link for sheet music:

Bluebear Jeff said...

I've heard Aleyn Wychington play most of his instruments . . . and to me they sound great!

I'm particularly enchanted with some of his bagpipes. The modern "great highland pipes" have been transformed over the years into something very loud and shrill because of their use outside as military instruments.

A lot of Aleyn's bagpipes are much sweeter sounding. He plays some of them at SCA events for dancing; and his little Swedish set are lovely for chamber music.

Now personally I think that his prices are much too low . . . but as you say, until you're well-known you are sort of behind the eight-ball.

-- Jeff

David W. Irish said...

I'm a big fan if Istampitta. I think there are few European medieval/medieval folk-rock groups I've not been a fan of. Most of my inspirations come from Corvus Corax, Wolgemut, Schelmish, Cultus Ferox, Potentia Animi, QNTAL, Helium Vola, Estampie, and a bunch of others.

David W. Irish said...

I'll take your word on his instruments. I'm going to be getting one as soon as he has one ready. If they are really good, I know people who would want them.

Annya Tiecia Wychington said...

appoligies, I found your site and the link to my fathers page, I will have to update you on the current one. the house had to change service providers. I will talk to my Father, Aleyn, asap as hes back from fishing with a friend so he can update you.

Annya Tiecia Wychington