Music that uplifted Henry VIII's realm
FOR most people, the Tudor period is renowned for Henry VIII and what happened to his respective wives.
But for Frances Eustace it's all about the music.
Ms Eustace, of Yenston, near Templecombe, is a leading performer in the world of early music and historical dance.
The professional bassoonist specialises in the medieval and Tudor periods up to the 17th century, and has been showcasing her music and dancing in local schools since 1995.
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Among her authentic instruments include Brueghel bagpipes, a rebec, a medieval harp and a renaissance viol.
The 57-year-old said: "The children love hearing the instruments and seeing them close up. In primary schools they often have a limited experience of older music.
"I play the lower class instruments of the time. When people think of Tudor music they often think of singing in cathedrals. However, I play the music that will have been heard on the streets."
Ms Eustace's love of music started at school after she took up the bassoon, aged 11.
Wearing traditional medieval and Tudor costumes, she also leads dance workshops.
"Music is a big part of my life," she said.
"I think dressing in traditional costumes definitely adds to the experience.
"People often don't realise how important it was for men to dance in those days, as they needed to be light on their feet to be good at swordfighting.
"Dancing often helps put the music into context."
The talented musician is currently doing a PhD researching 'secular carolling in late medieval England'.
For information about her work, visit http://www. franceseustace.com/.