If Music be the Food of Love, Z.379 (Purcell, Henry)

Free public domain sheet music from IMSLP / Petrucci Music Library
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Sheet Music

Arrangements and Transcriptions

For Voice and Piano (Arkwright)

 Complete Score
#64370 - 0.16MB, 4 pp. -  5.3/10 2 4 6 8 10 (27- V/V/15 - 23884x

PDF scanned by artsongcentral....
Bassani (2010/5/17)

PMLP131141-If Music Be The Food Of Love.pdf

Godfrey Edward Pellew Arkwright (1864–1944)

Publisher Info.:

Twenty Four Songs by English Composers of the 17th & 18th Centuries
London: Parker & Son, 1908.


Public Domain [tag/del]

Misc. Notes:

Transcription of first version, dating from June 1692 (Z. 379 a).


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General Information

Work Title If music be the food of love
Alternative Title
Composer Purcell, Henry
Opus/Catalogue Number Z. 379 (two versions)
Movements/Sections 1 or 2 verses
Year/Date of Composition 1690s
First Publication 1692
Librettist Colonel Henry Heveningham (1651–1700)
Language English
Composer Time Period Baroque
Piece Style Baroque
Instrumentation Voice, continuo

Misc. Comments

The song If music be the food of love is thought by some to be a setting of a Shakespearean text, however the only direct quotation is the first line, which matches the opening seven words heard in Twelfth Night. Purcell set this text, by one Colonel Henry Heveningham, twice in the 1690s, and made two slightly different versions of the first setting. The first version of the earlier setting includes only the first verse of poetry; the alternate version, published in the Gentleman’s Journal of June 1692 (Z. 379 a), sets both verses. This song was made famous in modern times by the countertenor Alfred Deller in the version arranged by Sir Michael Tippett and Walter Bergmann.

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