This sweet and merry month of May (a 4) (William Byrd)

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  • (Posted 2017-03-13)   CPDL #43518:         
Editor: James Gibb (submitted 2017-03-13).   Score information: A4, 6 pages, 72 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: SATB version. MusicXML source file is in compressed .mxl format.
  • CPDL #18159:        (Sibelius 4)
Editor: David Fraser (submitted 2008-10-15).   Score information: A4, 5 pages, 142 kB    Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: ATTB version. MusicXML source file is in compressed .mxl format.

General Information

Title: This sweet and merry month of May
Composer: William Byrd

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicings: ATTB or SATB
Genre: SecularMadrigal

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1590 in The first sett, of Italian Madrigalls Englished, no. 8
  2nd published: 1611 in Psalmes, Songs, and Sonnets, no. 9
Description: N.B. despite the title of Watson's publication, Byrd's madrigal is not based on an Italian original. The title continues There are also heere inserted two excellent Madrigalls of Master William Byrds, composed after the Italian vaine… Fellowes's monumentally careless scholarship is shown at its worst with regard to this publication, where he explains the "two excellent Madrigalls" as being the two separately-numbered sections of the 6-part setting of This sweet and merry month, having failed to notice that the 4-part version is also included in the book. Needless to say, neither of these is in two sections, and each bears only one number. (E.H. Fellowes, William Byrd (OUP, 2nd ed. 1948), p.154)

External websites:

Original text and translations

Original text and translations may be found at This sweet and merry month of May.