PRAECONES BRITANNIAE - ROMAN MUSICIANS

VALERIA FORTUNATA

LINUS SUPERBUS

THE MUSICIANS:
VALERIA FORTUNATA and LINUS SUPERBUS play ROMAN MUSIC as it probably was! We cannot really use the word "exactly" since very little is known about the sort of music that would have been familiar to Roman ears. Merely playing "later" or "modern-sounding" music on re-constructed instruments seems pointless, so we have laboured hard to produce a "likely" Roman Musical Sound!

The Somnia Imperii roman music CD The Somnia Imperii roman music CD
The Somnia Imperii CD is immediately available. The cost for customers in the U.K. is £12 (inclusive of postage and packing). Payment for the U.K. can be made by cheque, which should be made payable to V.J. MARSHALL and sent to me at the address below.

Valerie Marshall,
Tudor Lodge,
Pymoor Lane, PYMOOR,
near Ely, Cambridgeshire, CB6 2EF.

You can also order using a credit card and pay in your own currency! We use Paypal to process our credit card orders.
Cost U.K. £12.00 including postage & packing.
Cost U.S.A./North America - U.S.$19.00 including shipping.
Cost Europe - Euros 15.00 including shipping.

Here are short extracts, recorded as part of the CD. Important Note: In order that the samples download reasonably quickly, we have had to compromise and sacrifice some sound quality. Therefore, the samples are only 8 bit and do not convey the true sound quality of the instruments, but do give a good indication of the sound of each.

WARNING:
These samples must NOT be copied for any purpose, commercial or personal. They are here purely for potential customers as "previews" for CD's or to help decide which instrument to order.
APOLOGIES to all "genuine" customers obliged to hear my voice on every single sound sample! Unfortunately, it has been necessary to add this to prevent the "parasites and leeches" out there using my music without permission. However, I hope you will still find the music perfectly audible and therefore suitable for the original purpose intended.

LEGIO HISPANA (music to depict lXth. Legion moving north across Hadrian's Wall to do battle. Legend has it that the legion was never seen again! The instruments heard are - Tuba, Tympana & Utriculus) - Click here for the sound sample - (file name legiohispana.wav - file size 2.3 Meg)

BACCHANALIA (ASKAULES - the bagpipe was known to The Ancient World, there being literary references also to a Greek version called - Askaules. The pipe heard here uses primitive, all single, reeds. Accompanying instruments are Tympana and Cymbalum.)  Click here for the sound sample - (file name - askaules.mp3 - file size 782K)

Download Sound Sample - Double Aulos with 2 Tubae and Tympana playing part of a Pompa (processional piece) - (252K - file name "PompaBritannia.mp3")

Download Sound Sample - Fistulae with Lyra and Cymbalum - (378K - file name "tepidarium.mp3")

Download Sound Sample - Two Corna with Tympanum - (252K - file name "GloriaRomanorum.mp3")

THESE TRACKS (AND MANY OTHERS) CAN BE HEARD IN FULL ON THE ROMAN MUSIC CD.

Music For Historical Productions -The band are also available for media work - for more information click here.


COMBAT OF THE GLADIATORS AT THE MUSEUM OF LONDON
Two images from the 2015 Gladiator Games event at The Guildall in London with Roman Re-enactment group Britannia.

draco the gladiator

tuba at gladiator fights

THE GROUP NAME, which translates as - "Heralds of the British Province" - suggests a liking for fanfaring, pomp and the martial side of music. This arose from a need to provide appropriate accompaniment for Gladatorial Combat - Pompae (ceremonial processionals) - Battle Re-enactment and Festive occasions. For these, the louder instruments are needed - TUBAE (trumpets) - BUCINA or CORNU (large circular war trumpet/horn) and Utriculus (Bagpipe). All the evidence suggests that the Romans, like us, needed and used plenty of loud music as a backdrop for these type of events. The majestic sound of Tubae rising above the roar of the mob for gladatorial combat is something quite special - evocative sounds which dispel the centuries in an instant!

gladiators

     

A LONG ABSENCE

 
After a long absence of 1600 years, gladiators returned to the City of London (Museum of London) to perform on the site of the Ancient Roman Arena there. The late Roman re-enactment society (Britannia) and our musicians (Praecones Britanniae) re-created a very real "experience" of what it must have been like to have been there all those centuries ago! Packed attendances for the two shows added that extra ingredient - wild, full-throated enthusiasm which raised hairs on the back of the neck!
Britannia can be contacted on shadrake@blueyonder.co.uk

The Empress arrives prior to start of The Games

The Empress arrives prior to the start of The Games 

     

emperor

....and now The Emperor!

   

roman emperor

 

rearguard

The Emperor's Guard

 
   
   

OTHER MUSIC

roman mosaic Clearly too, there were smaller, more domestic occasions where music of a different nature would have been heard from instruments such as Lyra (Lyre) and Fistula Obliqua (flute) or, as shown in this Roman floor mosaic (pic left), Tibiae (double reedpipes) - Tympanum (tambourine-like drum) and Cymbalum (small bronze cymbals giving a ringing sound)

INSTRUMENTS:
From sources such as the mosaic above, also from carvings, paintings and surviving instruments, we have been able to gain a good indication of the sort of sounds that were familiar. The images also offer pointers as to their probable use as well as likely combinations of instruments.

 
 
 
 
   

ROMAN MUSIC PICTURE GALLERY

PRAECONES PROVINCIAE BRITANNIAE

Left to right: Roman Bagpipe - Tympanum & Tibiae

praecones britannia

Left to right: Tympanum - Dronepipe & Double Aulos

   

The FULL collection comprises -

FISTULAE (whistle-flutes) - FISTULA OBLIQUA (transverse flute) - SYRINX (panpipes) - AULOS - PHRYGIAN TIBIA - TIBIAE (reeds) - PHUSALIS (bladderpipe) - UTRICULUS (bagpipe) - CORNU - TUBAE - LITUUS (lip reeds) - TYMPANUM - CYMBALUM - SISTRUM - CROTALA (percussions) and LYRA (plucked strings).....so keep an eye on our picture gallery!

   

Phrygian Tibiae
Phrygian Tibia

 

tibiae
Roman Tibiae

   

ASKAULAS AND TYMPANUM
ASKAULES & TYMPANA

   


ANIMAL HORNS

   

cornu
ROMAN CORNU

PHUSALIS(bladderpipe)
PHUSALIS (bladderpipe)

ROMAN BAGPIPE
ROMAN BAGPIPE (Utriculus)

fistula
FISTULAE IMPARES

       

Roman Percussion

Viewed from top:
Crotala - Cymbala and Sistrum

left to right: ETRUSCAN AULOS, FISTULA OBLIQUA, BONE PIPES and SYRINX

For more pictures of Roman Instruments, please click HERE

PRAECONES PROVINCIAE BRITANNIAE
Valerie Marshall

Tudor Lodge, Pymoor Lane, Pymoor, Ely, Cambridgeshire. CB6 2EE. England.

To send me an E-Mail message : praecones@ancestral.co.uk

Telephone: +44 (0) 1353 698084

Fax : 0871 277 2589