Minstrels’ harp music found etched in Scottish castle

Published on August 28th, 2009 | by Admin


The markings found on a set of giant 16th century medallions in Stirling Castle have been found to be the oldest written instrumental music in Scotland.

Mr Donaldson found a sequence of ‘0’s, ‘I’s and ‘II’s carved round the edge of head number 20, which bears the image of a woman’s face. He contacted Barnaby Brown, a lecturer at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, who specialises in early Scottish music.

Mr Brown recognised the similarity of the sequence to rare Welsh notations, which were previously thought to be the earliest markings of their kind in Britain

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3 Responses to Minstrels’ harp music found etched in Scottish castle

  1. Young Bat says:

    Fascinating! Just wish we could hear the music…

  2. Young Bat says:

    Later: this BBC website contains a little recording of what the music played by the harpist probably sounded like. Check it out – about half way down the page.

  3. fisher says:

    @young bat: Thank you for posting the music link! I was about to search to see if someone had reconstructed it,but you saved me the trouble! 🙂

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