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



Sheet Music


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Lfm (2021/3/2)

PDF typeset by editor
Lfm (2021/3/2)

PDF typeset by editor
Lfm (2021/3/2)

PDF typeset by editor
Lfm (2021/3/2)

Editor Lukas-Fabian Moser
Publisher. Info. Lukas-Fabian Moser, 2021.
Misc. Notes Z.379a, after original printing in Gentleman's Journal, June 1692
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Arrangements and Transcriptions

For Voice and Piano (Arkwright)

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

Arranger Godfrey Edward Pellew Arkwright (1864–1944)
Publisher. Info. Twenty Four Songs by English Composers of the 17th & 18th Centuries
London: Parker & Son, 1908.
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 NumberOp./Cat. No. Z.379 (two versions)
I-Catalogue NumberI-Cat. No. IHP 29
Movements/SectionsMov'ts/Sec's 1 or 2 verses
Year/Date of CompositionY/D of Comp. 1690s
First Publication. 1692
Librettist Colonel Henry Heveningham (1651–1700)
Language English
Composer Time PeriodComp. Period Baroque
Piece Style Baroque
Instrumentation Voice, continuo

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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.