Our oldest instrument was built by the celebrated British builder Jacobus Kirkman in 1771. It is a two manual instrument restored 25 years ago by Derek Adlam and is in fine playing condition. Another two manual harpsichord was built by the Music Department's former technician, Derek Giles, in Aberdeen in the early 1980s and is a French-style instrument. A single manual Italian instrument built by Morton Gould in Glasgow in the early 1980s is ideally suited to early harpsichord repertoire, and has short-octave. This instrument is usually maintained in Meantone temperament at A=415cps.
An early Square Piano by Muzio Clementi has recently been restored but is still in a delicate state.
The university owns two violins by Joseph Ruddiman built after Stainer principles dating from the same period as the Kirkman harpsichord, as well as some modern copies of baroque violins and cellos.
The viol consort plays on a set of six instruments: two trebles, two tenors and two basses. We also own a consort of renaissance recorders: two each of descant, treble (G), treble (F), tenor, bass, plus a C-bass and contra F-bass, all employing renaissance fingering and tuned in meantone.
Many of our guitarists explore earlier repertoire on our renaissance lute and theorbo under the guidance of a Visiting Tutor in Performance, Alex McCartney-Moore.