Ancient AngloSaxon (reply)

Jed O'Connor joconnor at
Mon Oct 9 14:12:27 PDT 1995

Nikki writes:
>I have a presentation for my Old English class coming up in a few
>weeks, and
>I'll be concentrating on the Scoth (spelled phonetically, since I don't
>a thorn symbol),

Jed replies:
Dear Nikki:
     The word you have in mind is scop with a P, not a thorn. The sc is 
equivalent to our modern sh, and therefore it is pronounced SHOPE (rhymes 
with hope). I have heard the less learned among us pronounce it SKOP (rhymes 
with shop). 
     Sorry I don't have as much to offer in the way of your choices for 
material. I have seen the Story of English performance, and, while it was 
interesting, did not find it a compelling reconstruction. We have very 
little to go on for surviving tunes from 1200 or earlier in the Western 
World, whereas in Asia surviving traditional tunes go back much further 
since many were ceremonial in nature. My best suggestion is for you to find 
a very short Old English/AngloSaxon (depending on what you call it at 
Vasser) text, get someone to help you work out the pronunciation, and work 
out your own modal accompaniment inslowly plucked chords rather than the 
rapid continuo that the Story of English example suggests.
If all else fails, try a hymnal approach to the Lord's Prayer (Faeder Oure 
(sp?)) or Caedmon's Hymn which are not difficult to come by.  Hope this helps.


 a bard/storyteller from the Anglo Saxon era.  I have a
>harp and a gut strung harp, and I'd like to play something during my
>presentation, but I've had difficulty finding music from 5th-11th
>England.  If anyone could point me in the right direction, I'd
>the assistance.
>Thank you!
>Nikki Meer
>Maildrop 3144 Vassar College
>Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
>Nikki Meer                                  / Harpist and Harper
>nimeer at                    \ Future NPR employee
>News Director, WVKR 91.3 FM Poughkeepsie    / Bibliophile
> \ Vassar Girl

More information about the minstrel mailing list