Two lost songs by composer Sir Edward Elgar have been discovered written in a battered old notebook.

The compositions, titled The Muleteer's Serenade and The Millwheel, were thought to have been lost forever until researchers at a university in England saw the musical notes written underneath those of other songs while studying one of Elgar's writing pads.

Experts knew two unheard Elgar songs existed as his wife had written about them in her diary, but the discovery marks one of the most significant finds in classical music history.

The works are to be performed on Sunday (02Jun13) at a special concert marking the composer's birth, which will be held at the Elgar Birthplace Museum in Worcester, England.