Dance musicians in the 17th Century would be playing the instruments of the period – the most popular and readily available being the recorder, whistle, the pipe and tabor, the violin, various plucked string instruments including the cittern and members of the mandolin family, the hurdy gurdy and the English bagpipe.

Ideally, the Vale Islanders while wishing to stick to authentic musical instruments of the period, have found that the sound doesn’t always carry so well when played outdoors – and so we do a little “cheating” and use a little “musical licence” by including the more modern folk instruments – the melodeon and concertina.


We try to dance in the style of country people having fun without too many courtly gestures. There are no set right or wrong ways to do the dances, therefore our interpretation would not be the same as other groups dancing Playford dances.