Wyldes Noyse

What are Waits?

Waits (or waites – you could spell however you liked in Tudor times!) were musicians who worked for the town council. They had to play concerts out of doors, play at parties and ceremonies and patrol the streets early on dark winter mornings to wake people up. The council paid them and paid for their instruments and uniforms (big warm brightly coloured coats with special badges), and valuable, silver chains of office, but they often had other jobs as well.

Nowadays there are several groups of Waits in England who play instruments copied from the old original instruments which are kept in museums, and dress up in costumes and play in the streets and for concerts. We are part of a band called the King’s Lynn Waites and every couple of years we meet up with other bands from England and the rest of Europe to hold a festival of Town Pipers.