Diabolus in Musica

About Diabolus in Musica

We are a merry band of professional minstrels who provide a truly authentic flavour of Elizabethan England. Our music, instruments and costumes are all accurately researched, but we're not hardened academics. We play music that's an instant hit with most audiences.

We use 16th century improvisation techniques to keep the music fresh. Every performance is different, and we make sure that the tempo, style and instrumentation change regularly. No-one gets bored at a Diabolus gig.


Weddings and Corporate Events

We're an obvious choice for any event with a Tudor theme, or Medieval if you're not being too precise. But the event doesn't have to be historical. Many people book us just because we sound good, look pretty, and make them laugh. We're experienced entertainers, and we specialise in breaking ice.

We blend in - no amplifiers, no music stands, no stage required. Just gorgeously attired musicians producing professional, colourful, exciting music, live and unplugged. And we're versatile. If the timings don't go to plan, we can adapt.

We provide more than just music. Paul's stentorian tones are useful for announcements, David can provide trumpet fanfares, and gadget addicts love the hurdy-gurdy. If your guests are up for a bit of participation, we'll get them singing, dancing and generally making fools of themselves. For really keen dancers, we invented the Tudor Ceilidh.


Historical Events

Tudor re-enactments, country fairs, open days at museums, castles and historic houses, exhibition launches, Hollywood-style medieval markets - our repertoire suits all sorts of events. Whether we're doing scheduled performances or operating as strolling minstrels, we create instant atmosphere. Photographers love our costumes, musicians and engineers love our instruments, promoters love our flexibility, and everyone loves our music.


Concerts and Recitals

Our concert performances are legendary. We don't do concerts the way other people do concerts. We maintain a large and eclectic repertoire of 16th and early 17th century music, carefully selected for its variety and instant appeal to uninitiated audiences. This gives us tremendous flexibility. We have been known to plan a programme for a specific venue, and alter it on the spot according to audience response. We include jokes, historical anecdotes, and participation, and we can fend off hecklers. In Elizabethan.

Above all, we make early music fun. Promoters in some small rural venues have told us that our concert was still talked about years later. We're an ideal choice for the first concert in a series. People who have been dragged in under protest to "support the cause" often sign up for the rest of the series.

If you're looking for a themed concert, talk to us. We can generally put together a programme tailored around a specific idea or historical event. Some examples :

A Cheste of Fyne Jewells
(Our standard programme. An excuse to play all our favourite music.)
Merry Maids, Lusty Lads and Cheerful Cuckolds
(Based around a small collection of risque ballads, a couple of which we've reconstructed from original sources. A touch of vulgarity for adult audiences.)
The Stake, the Rack and the Gibbet
"A musicall miscellanie commemoratyng Englandes moste famousest Traytoures, Cutpurses and Hereticks"
(This one's good for November 5th)
The Enterprise of Englande
"A happie celebration of the defeate of the Great Armado, lately sente unto this lande by Phillip of Spayne."


The Players

Paul Paul Baker
The Frontman. Master of Revels, Lord of Misrule. Speaks fluent Elizabethan, sings, teaches people silly ballads and dances. Plays recorders, hurdy-gurdy, shawms, bagpipes, renaissance guitar and a few other intriguing beasties. The first choice for a soloist if your budget's tight.
Pam Pam Smith
One-woman string section. Provides the harmony and makes the music suave and creamy. Plays lute, renaissance guitar, cittern, bagpipes and curtal.
David David Jarratt-Knock
The Virtuoso. Has the dedication to play renaissance cornett. Plays all sorts of other things too, including trumpet, recorders, shawms, bagpipes and renaissance guitar.
Barry Barry Pope
The Jester. Impressive performer on both wind and strings. Irrepressible and dedicated to merriment.
Sue Sue Pope
The Foundation. Provides the essential extra support to fill out the sound and provide solidity and grandeur.