minstrel: Period music can get in your veins

Martin Hungerford jongleur at netcon.net.au
Thu Mar 16 02:18:28 PST 2000

> All of us, all forty of us, men and women, marching high, marching
>up the hill, with the strains of a centuries old battle hymn leading us
>on. I have always enjoyed that song. I may not be the most religious of
>people but I enjoy good music, secular or non. I have never had chills as
>such as those before, but I hope I will find them again. A troop of
>fighters, marching north, up the hillside, echoing through the valley.
>Gaudete, gaudete, chritos es natos, ex maria virgene, gaudete.

     I am much moved.  Many years ago, my father gave me my first set of
pipes.  They are a set of galician gaita.  I got them on a Friday.  On
Sunday morning, I heard a  pair of drums (nakers, as it turned out) and
hared off to join them.  As I approached, I realised that the drums, joined
by a turkish shawm, were leading a column of fighters to battle.  I swung in
at their head and the shawm, pipes (both in the same key) and drums lead the
troop to the frey.

I have played for processions, weddings, dances, a funeral since then - but
that moment of leading the fighters yet remains for me a highlight of my

Martin Juggler
MSOB  (ah!)

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