Monday, 24 June 2013

Border Minstrelsy and Beyond

I went to an enchanting Northumbrian Minstrelsy concert at The Sage, Gateshead, yesterday - celebrating the bicentenary of the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne.  This was too close to my field of research to resist, as you can imagine!  Before I went, I found a pdf of a 1965 edition of the original Northumbrian Minstrelsy (1882).  I downloaded that, then decided I'd try sending it to my Kindle.  (Easy, as it happens.)  By the time the train reached Newcastle, I was quite well-informed about the collection, and knew a bit about the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne!  Funny to think that when I lived on Tyneside - we're talking nearly thirty years ago - I knew absolutely NOTHING about Northumbrian minstrelsy or societies of antiquarians.

I've written about my trip in a couple of blogposts on Whittaker Live, so I won't duplicate the effort here.  (I've posted a couple of links to some fabulous Northumbrian smallpipe playing.)  Suffice to say, it was intriguing to read about a society earnestly collecting and documenting its minstrelsy repertoire as 'my' Scottish antiquarian friends were also doing.  Yes, I learned a few more historical names.  (Acquaintances not friends as yet!)

After an excellent concert, I slept soundly in a hotel literally just five minutes across the Sage car-park, and had two new books to while away the train journey back!


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