Ian the Historical Musician

Ian the Historical Musician
Location Birmingham
Starting from £260.40
6 reviews
Location Birmingham
Starting from £260.40
Read 6 reviews

Ian is a multi-instrumentalist specialising in the music of the renaissance and medieval periods, playing period instruments such as the beautiful lute, the early renaissance guitar, the silvery sound of the cittern and the melodious medieval harp.

Add that extra-special touch with authentic historical music played by “a mature talent well in command of the material” (Folk Monthly), especially if your wedding is to take place in a historical building.

Ian is flexible to suit the needs of your event: he can play music for some or all of the bride’s entrance; signing of the register; wedding breakfast; guest entertainment; and he can play in renaissance or modern clothes.

Watch Ian the Historical Musician

Watch Ian the Historical Musician

Ian the Historical Musician

Number of Reviews and Counting... 6!

Ian has been performing publicly on a variety of instruments for 40 years: large and small venues from the Albert Hall to village halls; solo, in duos and in bands; on TV and radio; for concerts, weddings and dances. He now specialises in the music of the renaissance and mediaeval periods on replicas of original lutes, renaissance guitars, citterns and a range of other historical instruments, playing arts centres, festivals, clubs, weddings and school workshops.

  • Solo: Choose from Lute, Renaissance guitar, Cittern, Citole, Gittern and Harp
  • Duo: Add Recorders, Crumhorn, Shawm and Rebec



  • Mr. Dowland’s Midnight ... John Dowland, c. 1620
  • Fortune ... John Dowland, c. 1615
  • Tarlton’s Resurrection ... John Dowland, c. 1590
  • Mrs. Winter’s Jump ... John Dowland, c. 1590
  • Il Bianco Fiore ... Cesare Negri, 1602
  • O mistress mine ... Thomas Morley, 1599
  • The Lady Banning, her Almand ... John Sturt, 1620
  • Robinsons May ... Thomas Robinson, c.1600
  • Gray’s Inn mask ... anon., England, 1610
  • Prince’s Mask ... anon., England, 1600
  • Rowallan untitled ... anon., Scotland, c. 1605-20
  • Gypsies Lilt ... anon., Scotland, c. 1605-20
  • Calata ... anon. Italy, c. 1502-1512
  • Belle qui tiens ma vie ... trad., France, pub. 1589 
  • Home again, Market is done ... trad., England, c. 1620
  • Heart’s ease ... trad., England, c. 1560
  • Greensleeves ... trad., England, 1580
  • How Should I Your True Love Know ... trad., England, c. 1600


  • The Night Watch ... Anthony Holborne, 1599
  • La Volta ... trad., England, 1620 and Germany, 1612
  • Broom : The bonny bonny Broom ... trad., England, before 1634
  • Chestnut (or Dove’s Figary) ... trad., England, before 1651
  • Jenny Pluck Pears ... trad., England, before 1651
  • Pinagay ... trad., France, pub. 1589
  • Branle des lavandieres ... trad., France, pub. 1589
  • Branle d’Escosse ... trad., France, pub. 1589         


  • Sellenger’s Round ... trad., England, 1590
  • All in a Garden Green ... trad., England, 1590
  • Gathering Peascods ... trad., England, 1590
  • Millison’s Jig ... trad., England, before 1651
  • The little Barly-Corne ... trad., England, 1618
  • Cuckolds all a row ... trad., England, 1637
  • Goddesses (Codling's Delight) ... trad., England, c. 1610
  • Branle de l'official ... trad., France, pub. 1589
  • Branle Cassandre ... trad., France, pub. 1589
  • Branle des chevaulx ... trad., France, pub. 1589         
  • Une Jeune Fillette = Queen’s Almain ... trad., France/England, 1568
  • In the Fields in Frost and Snow ... Thomas D'Urfey, 1706



  • Angelus ad virginem ... trad., England, c.1300                       
  • Foweles in þe frith ... anon., England, c. 1270         
  • Magno gaudens ... anon., England, c. 1200                     
  • La duches / This enderis day ... anon., England, c. 1480
  • Ly bens distonys ... anon., England, c. 1480
  • Septime Estampie Real ... anon., France, Manuscrit du Roy, c. 1300
  • Seste Estampie Real ... anon., France, Manuscrit du Roy, c. 1300
  • Dansse [ductia] ... anon., France, Manuscrit du Roy, f. 5r, c. 1300
  • Dansee real ... anon., France, Manuscrit du Roy, f. 104v, c. 1300
  • Manuscrit du Roi, folio 5r [untitled] ... anon., France, Manuscrit du Roy, f. 5r, c. 1300       
  • Amoroso ... trad. France, pub. c. 1470
  • Os que a Santa María (CSM 344) ... Cantigas de Santa Maria, Iberia, 1257-83
  • Tantas en Santa María (CSM 173) ... Cantigas de Santa Maria, Iberia, 1257-83
  • En bon ponto vimos (CSM 363) ... Cantigas de Santa Maria, Iberia, 1257-83
  • In Dulci Jubilo ... ?Henrich Suso, Germany, 1328                    
  • Lamento di Tristano ... anon., Italy, c.1400                                          
  • Winder wie ist nû dîn kraft ... Neidhart von Reuental, Germany, 13th century            


  • Edi beo þu heuene quene ... anon., England, late 13th century     
  • Estampie from Douce 139 ... anon., England, 13th century
  • quinte estampie Real ... anon., France, Manuscrit du Roy, c. 1300
  • A Virgen mui grorïosa (CSM 42) ... Cantigas de Santa Maria, Iberia, 1257-83
  • Santa María, Strela do día (CSM 100) ... Cantigas de Santa Maria, Iberia, 1257-83
  • Quen a omagen da Virgen (CSM 353) ... Cantigas de Santa Maria, Iberia, 1257-83
  • Kalenda maya ... anon., Italy, 12th c.    
  • Saltarello ... anon., Italy, Harley 29987 f.63, c. 1400                    
  • Saltarello (akin to a jig) ... anon., Italy, Harley 29987, f.64, c. 1400 
  • CITOLE (in addition to CITOLE or GITTERN list)
  • Man mei longe him liues wene ... anon., England, c. 1250
  • Ce fu en mai ... Moniot d'Arras, France, fl. 1213–1239         
  • tierche Estampie Roial ... anon., France, Manuscrit du Roy, c. 1300
  • Uitime estampie Real ... anon., France, Manuscrit du Roy, c. 1300
  • Stella Splendens ... anon., Catalonia, c. 1390       
  • Ghaetta ... anon., c. 1400, Italy
  • La manfredina / La rota ... anon., c. 1400, Italy

GITTERN (in addition to CITOLE or GITTERN list)

  • Poi-las figuras fazen (CSM 136) ... Cantigas de Santa Maria, Iberia, 1257-83

, Wedding, Woodman Inn, Huddersfield , West Yorkshire

Ian was 5/5.

, University / School, Tatton Park, Cheshire

Ian was superb - the school he worked with have visited us annually for many years and commented that he was far better and more engaging than the previous musicians we have used. Please express our genuine thanks and appreciation.

, Other, Lincolnshire

Absolutely wonderful! Really friendly, helpful, entertaining and professional - we could not have hoped for better and would highly recommend Ian.

, Private Party, Derbyshire

Such a knowledgeable, personable individual. Excellent musician and performer. Ian knows more than just music, which enriched the evening for us all. Thank you.

, Other, Derbyshire

Ian was absolutely great - friendly and helped us to plan what we wanted. Ian's music added the atmosphere that feel we wanted for our wedding - we couldn't have asked for more!

, Wedding, Shropshire

Thank you so much for playing and singing at our daughter and new son-in-law’s wedding. You played with delicateness – it was so special. And the way you interacted with all our guests was just lovely.

Beautiful set … a brilliant performance enthusiastically presented by a master musician to an appreciative and attentive audience that, quite simply, loved it. Wonderful. - Folk at the Fold

Superb … breathtaking ... and a very fine singing voice … Ian's performances are both compelling and informing. A virtuoso. - Alcester Folk Festival

Treasures of interpretation … a treat for the ears … moments of genuine tenderness … melodic, reflective and unforced. Ian’s instrumental virtuosity can’t be faulted, masterful on anything he turns his frets to. - English Dance & Song magazine

A fine voice, accompanied by some of the best guitar playing to be heard anywhere. - Folk On The Farm

One of England's finest guitarists and a great voice to boot. - The Circle Folk Club

A singer whose voice you couldn’t mistake - The Folk Mag

His live performances are flawless. - Common Folk Club


How long will you play for?
Every event is different, so timings (and therefore the proportionate fee) are negotiable. For weddings, I can play for some or all of: the bride’s entrance; signing of the register; drinks; wedding breakfast. Playing for the bride's entrance is always a special moment. For this I can play the music for or actually sing a beautiful French renaissance song (in English), 'Beauty who holds my life', which also has a lovely walking rhythm, or another piece of your choosing.

Do you have amplification?
The delicate sound of renaissance and medieval instruments does not suit amplification. However, these instruments, designed well before the day of the PA system, were built for the sound to travel and I have never found being heard a problem.

Will you play in a non-historical building?
My music is particuarly suited to older buildings, but I will play anywhere your event is held. Due to the nature of the instruments I will, of course, only play outside in good weather. 

Will you dress historically?
I can wear either medieval, renaissance or modern clothes, as you require.

How many instruments will you play?
My standard instruments for weddings and similar celebratory events are lute, renaissance guitar, cittern, citole, gittern and harp. Practically, I can bring three instruments not including harp, or harp plus one more.

Will you play for guests in the evening?
For an additional fee I can also put on a performance in the evening, with medieval and/or renaissance tunes and songs. I can do this solo or in a duo with a player of recorders, crumhorn, shawm and rebec.

Since all events have variations, precise timings are negotiable. As a guide, a standard wedding might include:

  •  playing for the Bride’s entrance
  •  playing or singing while the register is signed
  •  performing while guests are having drinks
  •  performing while guests are eating at the wedding breakfast

In addition, and with a separate fee, Ian will put on a sit-down performance for guests either solo or in a duo with a player of recorders, crumhorn, shawm and rebec. This typically would be a set of 45 minutes, a break, then a second set of similar length.

Please Note: The fees indicated below are approximate and based on a central location for each county. They are intended to provide a rough guide only and exact quotes can only be given once the date and exact location of your event have been provided.

North East

Durham £480.00 Northumberland £600.00 North Yorkshire £405.60 South Yorkshire £360.00 Tyne and Wear £504.00 West Yorkshire £391.20 Yorkshire £396.00 East Yorkshire £405.60 Leeds £388.80

North West

Cheshire £328.80 Cumbria £439.20 Manchester £343.20 Lancashire £364.80 Merseyside £354.00 Liverpool £354.00

East Midlands

Derbyshire £321.60 Leicestershire £306.00 Lincolnshire £370.80 Northamptonshire £319.20 Nottinghamshire £339.60 Rutland £342.00


Cambridgeshire £360.00 Norfolk £420.00 Suffolk £408.00 Norwich £432.00


Anglesey £420.00 Caernarvonshire £384.00 Denbigh £342.00 Flint £342.00 Cardigan £391.20 Brecon £320.40 Carmarthen £408.00 Glamorgan £360.00 Monmouth £313.20 Pembroke £438.00 Wrexham £310.80 Cardiff £354.00

West Midlands

Gloucestershire £300.00 Herefordshire £283.20 Shropshire £276.00 Staffordshire £288.00 Warwickshire £284.40 Worcestershire £260.40 Birmingham £266.40

South East

Bedfordshire £345.60 Berkshire £350.40 Buckinghamshire £328.80 East Sussex £451.20 Essex £417.60 Hampshire £381.60 Hertfordshire £367.20 Kent £427.20 Oxfordshire £324.00 Surrey £375.60 Sussex £404.40 West Sussex £420.00 London £396.00 Middlesex £363.60

South West

Cornwall £528.00 Devon £426.00 Dorset £408.00 Somerset £367.20 Wiltshire £351.60 Bath £348.00 Bristol £331.20
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