Henry VIII – pastime with good company
King Henry the VIII was to become proficient in many skills such as hunting, fencing, jousting, archery writing poetry, singing as well as learning to play several musical instruments. Henry developed a life-long love of listening to, performing and composing music. He built an extensive collection of musical instruments over the years including some 78 flutes, 76 recorders, 10 trombones, 14 trumpets, 5 bagpipes and many others! He was well respected as a competent musician and singer, doing much to actively encourage the very best musicians of the day to attend court.
Most fascinating is the King’s compositional output. He wrote a great deal of music although sadly some of which has been lost including many of his masses and ballads. A testament to his ability as a composer is the popularity with which some of his pieces enjoyed, spreading from his court, across the realm and into Europe. And not only in his lifetime. Some of his songs have passed through the generations and are still performed by early music ensembles today
image: www.bl.uk – Songs written by Henry VIII c.1518