At Kiplin Hall and Gardens you’ll encounter 400 years-worth of stories about international adventure lived out by members of the four families who lived there, the Calverts, Crowes, Carpenters, and Talbots. Discover all that Kiplin has to offer as we glimpse through the keyhole, exploring different elements of its history. This week, look at the role music has played

Bringing the true nature of the house to life, displays at Kiplin Hall now include historic music from the collection being played. Timeless notes float on the air evoking memories of a bygone age as visitors explore the historic rooms.

The sheet music collection at Kiplin comprises of nearly 1,400 pieces. It is kept in the library behind the 1856 Erard grand piano, which can be seen in many historic photographs of the hall.

The Northern Echo:

Alongside the piano Kiplin boosts an impressive collection of sheet music which once belonged to the families who lived there

The majority of the music collection consists of manuscript pieces, many of which are very short but appear to have been composed for, or dedicated to, Kiplin family members and are mainly waltzes, gavottes, strathspeys or quadrilles. They were likely played during weekend house parties in Edwardian and Victorian times.

The Northern Echo:

Historic photographs of Kiplin Hall and Gardens show the Erard grand piano which remains in the Hall today

Most of the music dates from the 18th and 19th Centuries and is keyboard pieces, chiefly arranged for piano although there are some instrumental pieces for violin, flute, harp and cello. Vocal pieces make up almost a quarter of the collection and comprise traditional folk songs, regional songs, national anthems and patriotic songs from other countries. Some reflect the American connection; there are also songs in French, Italian, German and Spanish.

The Northern Echo:

The 1856 Erard grand piano in Kiplin Hall’s Library once played a rich music collection of European waltzes and operas, and local folk songs

The collection also has general songs from the 19th Century, arias from both grand and light opera as well as religious and choral music. This conjures up images of family members gathered around the piano for a musical soiree.

Works by lesser known composers make up a significant part of the collection and less well-known Italian operas are featured, in addition to compositions by celebrated composers, Verdi and Wagner. Handel, Mendelssohn, Haydn, Mozart, Rossini and Schumann have the largest number of pieces – surprisingly there is only one piece by Chopin. The music visitors hear in the hall today is a recording of some of the sheet music from the Kiplin collection played by Northallerton based musician Andrea Rhodes.

The Northern Echo:

Northallerton based pianist Andrea Rhodes brings joyous music back to life in historic house Kiplin Hall

Volunteers at the hall are currently researching and cataloguing the music collection in more detail. Revealing links between the types of music found there and tickets for performances in London purchased by family members. This will continue to be explored for future displays.

The Northern Echo:

The large library at Kiplin Hall today with the piano in the right hand corner

Hearing music drifting through the grand rooms enhances a visit to Kiplin and helps to create the atmosphere of a country house filed with joy and family celebrations in the past.

Kiplin Hall & Gardens is currently open to visitors Friday to Monday, 10am to 5pm. Visit www.kiplinhall.co.uk for more information.