Welcome to the Time and Tide Waits page.

We are a smaller specialist group who play loud wind instruments including shawms, sackbuts, windcaps, dulcian and recorders.

Waits bands were first noted in civic records of the 15th century as groups of musicians paid by their towns and cities to patrol the streets at night, serenading the citizens and announcing the hour, also performing for civic events, parades, announcements and plays. Generally Waits were paid an allowance and supplied with cloth-liveries and silver scutcheons as symbols of their status.

Time and Tide Waits play shawm and sackbut supplemented with recorders and other instruments. The shawm is a conically bored, double-reeded woodwind instrument found in Europe from the 12th century. It is the precursor to the modern oboe and was popular during the medieval and renaissance eras. The sackbut developed slightly later, the first reference to it being in 1420, and is the precursor to the modern trombone. It has a narrower bore and thinner metal body with a small bell and produces a lighter, more mellow tone.

These two instruments complement each other very well. They were often used together in the early renaissance and so Time and Tide Waits specialise in performing European music from the 15th to 17th centuries. We can also play music from other periods by arrangement.

We are available to play for all sorts of occasions, from church events to fêtes and Christmas celebrations, public fairs and private parties.

Please contact us using the details on the Contact Us page. Thanks.

Below are some audio samples of our music.
Sound recordist: Greig Baird
Location: Brentor Church, Dartmoor.

Welscher Tanz and Nachtanz by Hans Neusiedler (1508-1553) a German Lutenist and lute maker who wrote 8 books of lute music.
Performed on Shawm and Sackbut

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T'Andernacken, collected by Henry VIII around 1550 without a composer but this bass dance has now been attributed to Jacob Obrecht.
Performed on descant and treble recorders

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Je Ne Suis by Guillaume Dufay (1400-1477) a Burgundian, the most famous composer of his age.
Performed on Shawm and Sackbut

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Tan-ta-ra cries Mars by Thomas Weelkes (1576-1623) an English composer and organist at Winchester and the Chapel Royal.
Performed on Shawm and Sackbut

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Mother of Compassion, Pilgrims' Song from the Codex Specialnik c.1450 a collection of 2 and 3 part sacred music from Prague.
Performed on descant and treble recorders

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