Traditional English Folk Music

Tethera is the name for a group of Cambridge, Kitchener and Hamilton musicians; Paul Morris (Concertina, Melodeon and Vocals), Brad McEwen (Citterns and Vocals) and Brian Sinclair (Mandocello, Guitar, Mandolin and various other unique stringed instruments), Gwen Potter (Vocals & Viola D’ Amore) and Bill Nesbitt (Concertina Harmonica and Vocals)


The repertoire consists of mainly traditional English dance tunes and songs. However, other things have been known to creep in from Ireland, France, Brittany, Belgium as well as Canadian variants of British ballads and some Newfoundland dance tunes..


They have been playing together for many years and bring a relaxed and informal style to their performances.


The group can appear in smaller configurations, such as a quartet, trio or duo, depending on availability of members and the nature of the performance.



Yan Tan Tethera is a sheep-counting rhyme/system traditionally used by shepherds in Northern England and earlier in some other parts of Britain.[1] Until the Industrial Revolution, the use of traditional number systems was common among shepherds, especially in the dales of the Lake District. The Yan Tan Tethera system was also used for counting stitches in knitting. The words derive from a Brythonic Celtic language.

Though most of these number systems fell out of use by 1910, some are still in use. The word yan or yen for "one" in some northern English dialects generally represents a regular development in Northern English in which the Old English long vowel /ɑː/ <ā> was broken into /ie/, /ia/ and so on. This explains the shift to yan and ane from the Old English ān, which is itself derived from the Proto-Germanic *ainaz.[2][3] Another example of this development is the Northern English word for "home", hame, which has forms such as hyem, yemand yam all deriving from the Old English hām.[4]

The Canadian band Tethera began in 2007 and consisted of Brad McEwen, Paul Morris and Brian Sinclair.  Since there were three members, Tethera was a good choice of names.  Since that time, we have been joined by Gwen Potter and later by Bill Nesbitt.  Having already established the name, we didn’t want to change it. Sometimes we are known as the Tethera Quartet or the Tethera Quintet.    WIKIPEDIA