By anthologising the incomplete remains of the music of Scotland between 1500 and 1700, Kenneth Elliott and Helena Mennie Shire took on what was undoubtedly a mammoth task. They pieced together fragmentary manuscripts written in difficult to decipher systems of notation by many different hands and printing methods, and created modern editions that are easily accessible to modern musicians.
I used these editions (‘Music of Scotland, 1500-1700’, MB XV (1957) and ‘Sixteenth-century Scots songs for voice and lute’, MS II (1996)) to create arrangements which appealed to me as a modern player. I mainly used my intuition when it came to choosing instrumentation. It was fun experimenting with different tones, styles and speeds and my musical collaborators were indispensable when it came to making final performance decisions.