Musical History Walk May 20th

Dr Stephen Foster, Senior Lay Clerk at Canterbury Cathedral, led over 20 CHAS members and friends round familiar and also less well-known parts of Canterbury on a sunny Saturday afternoon. While talking about music making in various establishments in Georgian Canterbury, Dr Foster had to raise his voice above various forms of 21st Century street music in the city but succeeded in informing and entertaining his audience. It was interesting to learn that admission prices for musical concerts in the 18th Century were considerably lower than that for plays. However, when the 8-year old Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was billed to give a recital at the Guildhall, unsurprisingly ticket prices were raised.

Dr Foster talks about performances at the “Crown Yard”, the site of a theatre in Elizabethan through to Georgian times

At the conclusion of the walk the party entered the community space (at the back of the Cathedral shop) for a Q and A session with tea and cake as sustenance. There were plenty of questions for Dr Foster with some of the party particularly interested in the fact that many church organs were relocated into taverns during the Commonwealth period. Another topic of interest was the Canterbury Ballad. Although the ballad was not performed on Saturday, it may be possible for CHAS members to hear a rendition at a later date.

Dr Foster fielded many questions during a busy Q and A session in the Community Space at the Cathedral