Period Music of the 1600s

Lecture and demonstrations

July 19, 2023 - 7pm to 8pm

Julia Lane

Pieter Fransz de Grebber - Musicians (c1620)

Music has always been an important part of daily life. Singing, in particular, was not only an avenue for self-expression and storytelling but also provided a source of cultural common ground. Songs were as much a part of daily life as clothing and food. These songs give us a window into the lives and concerns of our ancestors and an enriching perspective on history. When the first explorers came to what is now Maine, they were a hardy, adventurous lot. Largely people of modest means, their lives were, nevertheless, filled with music. Broadside ballads are the primary source for the vernacular music of the time.  Orally transmitted songs and dance tunes enlivened their days and evenings just as they would have done in their homeland.

In researching the music of early Maine inhabitants, musicians Julia Lane & Fred Gosbee have also found modern versions of songs dating back to early colonial times. Julia Lane will discuss and present examples of the music that may have been enjoyed by both the aristocratic and common members of the Virginia expedition as well as their descendants.

Julia Lane has loved, sung, researched and created folk music since childhood. As an adolescent, she studied music theory and took guitar lessons from a lutenist specializing in Elizabethan songs. She became active in madrigal and Renaissance music groups as well as performing as a soloist. After graduating from Phillips Exeter Academy in 1974, her interest in traditional folk music and lore led her to study in Oxford, England. For over forty years, she has conducted in-depth research into the social history and folkways of the Celtic lands and her native New England which has resulted in multi-media programs blending history and myth with both traditional and original music.

Julia collaborates with her husband Fred Gosbee, also a vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and song-miner. Maintaining a commitment to cultural education since 1987, their duo, Castlebay, has presented programs and concerts throughout the eastern US and in Europe. In addition to their many recordings, they recently published their first book “Bygone Ballads of Maine Volume 1- Songs of Ships & Sailors”. It contains 165 songs with relevant lore. Both Lane and Gosbee have been involved with Maine’s First Ship since it began. They are currently preparing a songbook and recording for use by educators and the staff of Virginia.

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Julia Lane

This is the 6th in a series of 8 in the 2023 Summer Lecture Series. This year the lectures will be held on Wednesday evenings. The lectures will be held at the Bath Freight Shed and via Zoom.

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