Early Music is a term refering to music from the earliest times up to the Renaissance, but often come to include any music for which a historically appropriate style of performance must be reconstructed on the basis of surviving music scores, treatises, instruments and other contemporary evidence.
Listen to the all-famous English folksong Greensleeves, here performed in a distinct renaissance music style by the Baltimore Consort.
Perhaps this is close to how it originally sounded?
Recommended Early Music resources:
Early Music America (EMA) is the not-for-profit service organization for the field of early music in North America. Founded in 1985, EMA expands awareness of, and interest in, the music of the Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, and Classical periods performed on period instruments using historical performance practices.
Early Music Network Inc. is a non-profit organization whose goal is to promote, revive and support historical performance practice all over the world.
Early Music Shop (UK)
The Early Music Shop is the world’s largest early music instrument specialist. Formerly part of Woods Music Shop in Bradford, The Early Music Shop moved to its prestigious new showroom at Salts Mill, Saltaire, West Yorkshire in 2007 and has become the largest single source of mediaeval, renaissance and baroque musical instruments world-wide.