The music for the Mirkmere dances was played on a fairly eclectic range of instruments. The predominant ones in the last hundred years or so have been various free-reed instruments, especially the assorted varieties of concertina and melodeons. English and Duet system concertinas have been generally favoured, there being almost a superfluity of players available due to the presence in the community of the (now defunct) Mirkmere Prize Concertina Band. Brass instruments, in particular the tuba and trombone, have also appeared and the members of the Wagtail family have ensured that the fiddle has its place.

The musical notation came to us from Jemimah Nipperkin who played concertina for the old team and taught her tunes to her nephews and nieces and also to Fred’s son Albert. She is believed to be the lady in the picture below, standing to the right … clearly, this was not the costume the musicians wore when playing for the morris dances and was more probably what they wore when playing for village dances and weddings.

Mirkmere 10