The room in the castle called the Minstrels Gallery was intended for the Lord's musicians and situated on a raised gallery overlooking the Great Hall. The minstrels were seated on a narrow balcony, usually having a railing or balustrade. ( A balustrade is a rail with a row of posts that support it, as along the front of the Minstrel's Gallery). The minstrels would play music for the lord and nobles of the court. It became fashionable to dance from the 12th and 13th centuries.
Types of Medieval music played in the Minstrels Gallery
The types of medieval music played in the Minstrels Gallery varied considerably. By the 12th century a method of music notation was developed which indicated the length of each note and the pitch. This enabled the Minstrels to learn the tune as well as the words to songs and ballads. Details of the many Medieval Musical Instruments can be found by following the link. The instruments fell into the following categories:
- Stringed Musical Instruments - instruments which were played with a bow or plucked
- Wind Musical Instruments - instruments which were blown like trumpets or bagpipes
- Percussion Musical Instruments - various forms of drums and bells
Medieval dance music dates from the 12th and 13th centuries. The carole was the most popular dance-song which could be danced in a circle, in a chain, or as a processional. Our modern Christmas Carols are derived from this practice. Names of famous Medieval dances include the following:
The Minstrels Gallery
Facts and information about the Minstrels Gallery - an essential part of a Medieval Castle entertainment!