I’ve adored renaissance music for many years and I’ve wished more of my friends would join me in appreciating its charms.
If you’re unfamiliar with Western music before the Baroque era, here is a pleasing, friendly introduction to some lovely tunes. Originally sung or plucked on lute strings, they translate well to the modern classical guitar. One Jon Sayles has played, recorded and kindly made them available.
Almost 250 free mp3 downloads are just waiting for you – little ditties like Weep You No More Sad Fountains, A Shepherd in a Shade, or Soy Contento.
Just to give you a taste, here’s a catchy little German dance:
The selection on the site consists mostly of very genteel tunes. If you find them too sweet and mild, don’t write off all renaissance music. There’s wilder, more dramatic music from that time, too.
By the way, I used to sing many of the English songs with a group of SCA geeks in college. I can still do an adequate refrain of hey nonny nonny!