Shakespeare-themed Music programs

Youth Program

Musical Instrument Demo



Renaissance Ensemble

Presented by Anne & Rob Burns as

All programs feature replica Renaissance instruments and commentary about the instruments and music selections. Demos include more detail about the instruments.

Anne & Rob Burns, as A Reasonable Facsimile, have specialized in the music of the Renaissance, and especially music of Shakespeare's time, for over 30 years. They entertain and educate audiences of all ages. While the music is historically informed and played on replica instruments, the presentations are alive, approachable and fun (often funny) for modern audiences.
Anne and Rob, multi-instrumentalists, choose the most accessible musical pieces from the time, and explain the instruments, music and history in terms appropriate to the setting. They use humor to convey information to general audiences, and stories and theatrics to bring this music to children.

“We had a wide and various audience—I think everyone found a connection and appreciation from something in the program” (Satisfied client)




William Shakespeare (1564—1616), poet, playwright, actor

"This guy seems to have a way with words."
(A Reasonable Facsimile)




Shakespeare's Music brochure pdf

Children's Program for Libraries, Schools and Community Centers

A Reasonable Facsimile introduces young audiences to the sounds of early music and instruments through action, stories and participation. Anne and Rob play a variety of instruments including recorders, gittern, dulcimer and percussion.

"I have a reasonable good ear in music. Let's have the tongs and the bones."
A Midsummer Night's Dream, Act 4, Scene 1

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Musical Instrument Demo for Schools, Libraries and Community Centers
Upper Elementary Ages to Adult

Anne and Rob Burns, as A Reasonable Facsimile, demonstrate musical instruments of William Shakespeare's time. The audience will enjoy hearing lively music popular in the time of the Bard on replica Renaissance musical instruments mentioned in his scripts. Anne and Rob play fife, drum, flute, lute, bagpipe, hoboy, tabor and pipe, among other instruments.

"Wilt thou have music? Hark! Apollo plays."
Taming of the Shrew, Induction, Scene 2

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Concert for General Audiences at Libraries, Festivals and Community Centers

In this concert, A Reasonable Facsimile introduces Renaissance dance music and songs from inside and outside the plays of Shakespeare. During William Shakespeare's time (1564—1616), musicians of theatre companies selected music to drive the plays and to keep the both the peasants and the nobility happy between scenes. A Reasonable Facsimile chooses appealing music from Elizabethan England to invoke the spirit of those earlier musicians and to delight modern audiences. To lend authenticity to the Shakespearean sound, the duo plays on copies of Renaissance instruments including recorders, flutes, shawms, strings and percussion.

"What harmony is this? My good friends, hark!" "Marvelous sweet music!"
The Tempest, Act 3, Scene 3

Audio excerpt:
Three Merry Men/Strawberry Leaves
(Text from Twelfth Night)

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Madrigals, canzonets (short songs) and ballads by Morley, Weelkes, Ravenscroft and other composers of William Shakespeare's time are performed by a trio of women including Anne Burns. Lively and sad, quick and mad, this music can be every bit as dramatic as the plays of the time. Canzonet will find the missing link between period songs and Shakespeare's works.

"This is a merry ballad, but a very pretty one."
The Winter's Tale
, Act 4, Scene 4

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Old Oaks Renaissance Consort

This is an augmented version of A Reasonable Facsimile's concert, "Music of Shakespeare's Time." Anne & Rob are joined by 2 to 3 musicians to complete Old Oaks Renaissance Consort. The result is a wonderfully rich sound in 4 or 5 part versions of music from Shakespeare's time. Featured instruments are recorders, flutes, violas da gamba and lute.


E-mail us for bookings and information

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