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Music of the Scottish Renaissance discovered at Stirling Castle

The earliest instrumental music in Scotland discovered on a carving at Stirling Castle.

castle on top of mountain

Photo: Finlay McWalter

A view of Stirling Castle, home of the wood carvings known as the Stirling Heads.

A recent discovery in Stirling, Scotland has created quite a stir among devotees of early Scottish music.

Stirling Castle, a Renaissance palace of Stewart kings, is home to what are known as the Stirling Heads, a collection of 16th-century wood carvings that once decorated the palace of James V. One of the heads, an image of a woman, apparently has music embedded in the form of 0′s, I’s, and II’s.

The music itself is thought to be instrumental and, perhaps, intended for the harp.

A BBC news article gives more details and includes a sound clip of the discovered tune.

Bernard Gordillo

Bernard Gordillo was born in Managua, Nicaragua, and raised in New Orleans. He holds degrees from Centenary College of Louisiana, the Early Music Institute at Indiana University, and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (London). Bernard also writes and hosts the Harmonia Early Music Podcast.

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