Ian the Minstrel - Medieval Minstrel

This Midlands Lute player and Medieval Minstrel has been performing publicly on a variety of instruments for 40 years - large and small venues from the Albert Hall to village halls.

He can perform as a soloist, duo or larger group and has appeared on TV and radio.

He is available for concerts, weddings and dances and specialises in the music of the renaissance and medieval periods on replicas of original lutes, renaissance guitars, citterns, gitterns, harps and a range of other historical instruments, playing arts centres, festivals, clubs, weddings and school workshops.


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

"… 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 … his performances are both compelling and informing. A virtuoso." Alcester Folk Festival

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

"His live performances are flawless." Common Folk Club

"Splendid performance ... a joy and delight ... he had us all spell-bound." Food & Folk

"His easy-going manner engages the audience; and the night was an object lesson in talking about the songs in an entertaining way – as well as some fine singing and playing." Warwick Folk Club

"Absolutely fantastic … spectacular" Mudcat Café

"Exactly what I always hope I’m going to get ... we sometimes forget what a fine guitarist he is, partly because his gentle but solid vocals and purity of tone are what tend to stick in the memory." Shreds and Patches

"When you're as talented an instrumentalist as Ian, you have to be careful not to let the accompaniment dominate the song. He gets it absolutely right … a mature talent well in command of the material." Folk Monthly


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Ian the Minstrel - Medieval Minstrel Repertoire





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                                           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, Gresley ms, c. 1480

Ly bens distonys                                   anon., England, Gresley ms, 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, 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  

Man mei longe him liues wene               anon., England, c. 1250

Ce fu en mai                                         Moniot d'Arras, France, fl. 1213–1239  

Ctierche 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

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

Ian the Minstrel - Medieval Minstrel Feedback

He was fantastic. Our rowdy guests really enjoyed singing along in the feasting hall and it created an incredible atmosphere. He was adaptable and tailored his act to fit our guests. We had quite a lot going on at our fete style celebration and he is not only a wonderful musician but kept our kept our guests who were interested in history engaged with historical facts and knowledge as we were mingling and taking photos. My only regret is not seeing more oh his performance as I kept getting swept off for photography and mingling duties! Would definitely book again.

Gemma Altoft, Cockley Wood, Hand Fasting Wedding (September 2023)

It was a pleasure working with the performer and having him perform on our wedding day. We always had good communication, quick responses, friendly and helpful advice, and we worked together to plan what we wanted to happen on the day. He was excellent on the day too. Both in terms of the music he played, but also his interaction with us and the guests. We had a 3 year old there, who took a particular interest in him and his instruments - he spent time talking with him and showing him things. He made quite an impression on this boy, as he is still talking about him and the music! All our guests made compliments afterwards about how fitting the instruments and music were for the event, and how much they enjoyed it. We would highly recommend him.

Ellen, , Wedding (September 2018)

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.

Steve and Gill, wedding

He helped us plan the music so it was just what we wanted. The harp playing as we entered the church was just right absolutely great, and the atmosphere he created with his music and his friendliness was exceptional.

Davina and Jonathan, wedding

Thank you for your beautiful music, which made our wedding day even more special. Of all the items in the ceremony, your music stood out as our favourite part.

Rebecca and Tom, Huddersfield wedding

Ian the Minstrel - Medieval Minstrel Videos