Music written for productions of ‘Macbeth’ which included the songs and dances.
These files were made with LilyPond (www.lilypond.org). They can be played with VLC.
Music for the dance performed by twelve witches in a masque staged by Ben Jonson in February 1609. Printed by Robert Dowland in 1610, in a collection of practice pieces for the lute. Printed again by Cutts (1959, no. 7) and attributed by him to Robert Johnson. It is suggested that the same music may have been used in ‘The Witch’ (and subsequently in ‘Macbeth’).
Music for the song sung by Isabella in Act II, scene 1, of ‘The Witch’. Printed by Cutts (1959, no. 5), from a contemporary manuscript, and attributed by him to Robert Johnson.
Music written for a song in ‘The Witch’, subsequently transplanted into a production of ‘Macbeth’. Printed by Cutts (1959, no. 6), from a contemporary manuscript, and attributed by him to Robert Johnson.
The same music, rather differently arranged (Cutts 1959, no. 6a).
A piece called ‘Witches’ Dance’. Printed by Cutts (1959, no. 8), who suggests that it may have been written by Robert Johnson for the same production of ‘Macbeth’;.
Another piece called ‘Witches’ Dance’ (Cutts 1959, no. 8a), the last section of which is nearly the same as that of the previous piece.
An edition of the music used in eighteenth-century productions of ‘Macbeth’ was published by William Boyce in 1770 – the date was determined by Moore (1961:27n12) – and dedicated to David Garrick. The following files are all transcribed from that edition. I have had to set the tempos myself; I have tried to correct a few small mistakes made by Boyce’s engraver; but otherwise I have interfered as little as possible. Mainly I just reproduce the orchestral parts; where the orchestra falls silent I have used some woodwind to sketch in the vocal parts. A songsheet is provided, for anyone who wants to join in.
Music for the extravaganza at the end of Act II.
Music for the extravaganza at the end of Act III.
Music for Act IV, scene 1. Boyce has these four pieces of music for Act IV, but apparently only one of them was used in Garrick’s production – the ‘Furies’ Dance’, called for at the point where First Witch decides that Macbeth needs some cheering up.
This is a songsheet adapted to Boyce’s score; it is not a critical edition. There are large variations in the wording of these songs, but I have not yet got round to working them out in detail. Sorry about that.