The Light Programme

Time to jour­ney into the tune­ful and melod­ic world of Light Music as we recre­ate — to some extent at least — the BBC Light Pro­gramme and its pre­sen­ta­tion of pop­u­lar tunes from 1945 until 1967 and beyond, but with the addi­tion of pop­u­lar Light Music occa­sion­al­ly going back well before then.


Today’s pro­gramme is pre­sent­ed by Elrik Mer­lin. Please click here to start your play­er if your brows­er is set up to pass streams to an exter­nal play­er. 

You can also lis­ten via TuneIn, either with their web site or via the TuneIn App, or on Online Radio Box — with a com­plete playlist for the past sev­en days.

The English Country Dance

Today’s pro­gramme focus­es, rather broad­ly, on the Eng­lish and Scot­tish Coun­try Dance – and in par­tic­u­lar on the work of John Play­ford (1623–1686/7).

The pieces you’ll hear today range from the per­for­mances of the spe­cialised ECD musi­cal groups like the Bal­ti­more Con­sort and Bare Neces­si­ties, whose music is intend­ed to be danced to by wide­spread groups of mod­ern expo­nents of the art, to the folk dance and Mor­ris Danc­ing groups with their exu­ber­ant take on the pieces and their inclu­sion of mod­ern instru­men­ta­tion. Then, too, there are Ear­ly Music groups who treat the works as authen­ti­cal­ly as they pos­si­bly can to recre­ate the sound that might have been heard when these dances were first per­formed. And there are many oth­ers. In addi­tion you’ll hear pieces from the Scot­tish Coun­try Dance reper­toire, which grew out of ECD in the 18th Cen­tu­ry.

These dances have been influ­ences on all kinds of musi­cians, over all kinds of peri­ods. And at the core of this music is often to be found that cer­tain John Play­ford, a Lon­don book­seller, pub­lish­er, minor com­pos­er, and mem­ber of the Sta­tion­ers’ Com­pa­ny, who pub­lished books on music the­o­ry, instruc­tion books for sev­er­al instru­ments, and psalters with tunes for singing in church­es. But he is per­haps best known today for his pub­li­ca­tion of The Eng­lish Danc­ing Mas­ter in 1651. In musi­cal terms it was the Num­ber One hit of the time, and was pub­lished in sev­er­al edi­tions by Play­ford and his suc­ces­sors from 1651 until around 1728. Dances from The Danc­ing Mas­ter were re-pub­lished in arrange­ments by Cecil Sharp in the ear­ly 20th cen­tu­ry. The first edi­tion of The Danc­ing Mas­ter con­tained 105 dances with sin­gle line melodies. Sub­se­quent edi­tions intro­duced new songs and dances, while drop­ping oth­ers. The dances turn up in var­i­ous forms right through the Vic­to­ri­an era (rep­re­sent­ed today by pieces from the Brass­works Band) and up to the present day.


Today’s pro­gramme is pre­sent­ed by Elrik Mer­lin. Please click here to start your play­er if your brows­er is set up to pass streams to an exter­nal play­er. 

You can also lis­ten via TuneIn, either with their web site or via the TuneIn App, or on Online Radio Box — with a com­plete playlist for the past sev­en days.

A Baroque Festival

Join us today for a diverse and exten­sive col­lec­tion of music from the Baroque era includ­ing com­posers from all over north-west Europe and fea­tur­ing the work of J S Bach.

Baroque music is a style com­posed from approx­i­mate­ly 1600 to 1750. This era fol­lowed the Renais­sance, and was fol­lowed in turn by the Clas­si­cal era. The word “baroque” comes from the Por­tuguese word bar­ro­co, mean­ing mis­shapen pearl, a neg­a­tive descrip­tion of the ornate and heav­i­ly orna­ment­ed music of this peri­od. Lat­er, the name came to apply also to the archi­tec­ture of the same peri­od.

Baroque music forms a major por­tion of the “clas­si­cal music” canon. Com­posers of the Baroque era include Johann Sebas­t­ian Bach, George Frid­er­ic Han­del, Alessan­dro Scar­lat­ti, Domeni­co Scar­lat­ti, Anto­nio Vival­di, Georg Philipp Tele­mann, Jean-Bap­tiste Lul­ly, Arcan­ge­lo Corel­li, Toma­so Albi­noni, François Couperin, Denis Gaulti­er, Clau­dio Mon­tever­di, Hein­rich Schütz, Jean-Philippe Rameau, Jan Dis­mas Zelen­ka, Johann Pachel­bel, and Hen­ry Pur­cell.

The Baroque peri­od saw the cre­ation of tonal­i­ty. Dur­ing the peri­od, com­posers and per­form­ers used more elab­o­rate musi­cal orna­men­ta­tion, made changes in musi­cal nota­tion, and devel­oped new instru­men­tal play­ing tech­niques. Baroque music expand­ed the size, range, and com­plex­i­ty of instru­men­tal per­for­mance, and also estab­lished opera, can­ta­ta, ora­to­rio, con­cer­to, and sonata as musi­cal gen­res. Many musi­cal terms and con­cepts from this era are still in use today.


Today’s pro­gramme is pre­sent­ed by Elrik Mer­lin. Please click here to start your play­er if your brows­er is set up to pass streams to an exter­nal play­er. 

You can also lis­ten via TuneIn, either with their web site or via the TuneIn App, or on Online Radio Box — with a com­plete playlist for the past sev­en days.
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