Early Music Series founder Steve Rosenberg thinks that the music you’ll hear at the Elizabethan Bandstand would fit right in at a bar or tavern — in Shakespeare’s day.

“We’re playing pop music, dance music of the Renaissance era,” Rosenberg says. “This is music that has been preserved in its original form, and we do it in a very lively, upbeat manner.”

Regular Renaissance festival-goers, history buffs, and purveyors of classical music alike should enjoy the ancient music program. This isn’t your average classical recital, though — Rosenberg and friends will be rocking out on ancient instruments that you’re unlikely to hear anywhere else.

“There are about 30 unique instruments I’ve got to choose from to play in the program,” Rosenberg says. The instruments in his repertoire read like a laundry list of German rock bands. “Instruments like the rauschpfeife, krumhorn, harpsichord, various recorders, and others will be featured in the performance,” he says.

The rauschpfeife and krumhorn are double-reeded instruments similar to the clarinet. The name rauschpfiefe comes from the German words rausch (noise) and schreien (to scream), which is appropriate for the loud pipe. Likewise, krumhorn literally means “curved horn” in German, and it was used as early as 1500 A.D. in different types of Renaissance music.

Rosenberg has been playing ancient music for Piccolo Spoleto audiences for years as part of the Early Music Series, which he founded in 1986. As department chair of music at the College of Charleston, he also gathers faculty, students, and alumni to perform in the concerts.

The South Carolina Arts Commission recently honored Rosenberg with the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Award for his commitment to establishing the significance of early music. Rosenberg notes that early music is a valuable tool in understanding the underlying structure of current musical forms.

This unique program should blow anything you’ve heard on The Tudors out of the water, not to mention that pre-recorded stuff they blast out of speakers while you’re waiting in line for a turkey leg at the Renaissance festival.

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