Instrumental music was of less interest to the early collectors, as it was usually functional music, to accompany dancing – either social dancing (“country” dancing) or step dancing. Some tunes are hundreds of years old, many from the nineteenth century, and even more recent song tunes were absorbed into the traditional repertoire in the twentieth century. Typical tune types are hornpipes, jigs, schottisches and waltzes, with a few jigs. Instrumentation was typically melodeon (from the 1840s) fiddle or dulcimer. The latter instrument had a distinctive regional style, popular between 1850-1930.

‘Before the Night Was Out …’

A sample from our book of tunes collected in Suffolk and Norfolk (published 2007 and available to order from our online shop).

Tracing Tunes

A new series started in 2011. Tracing Tunes No.1 is about “The Perfect Cure”.  and No.2 is about “Starry Night for A Ramble”. You may also be interested in an older article by Mike Yates about “Oh Joe, the Boat is Going Over”.


A summary of research by us and others into the dulcimer in East Anglia. Instrument style and construction, makers and players.

200 year old tunes from Bury St Edmunds

In November 2012 we published (on the website only) tune and dance instructions originally published in1812, by J.Gray, including some tunes composed by local musicians.

Tunes from Cambridgeshire

An article about the poet and traditional musician John Clare, and a link to further tunes from the west of our region.