Music for a While

Program Notes:

Composed in 1692 as incidental music to John Dryden’s Greek mythology-based play “Oedipus”, this timeless song is sung to calm Alecto, one of the Furies, through the sheer power of music.

Conductor Notes:

SSAA and soprano solo a cappella

I heard this stunning a cappella arrangement several times at the 2008 World Symposium on Choral Music in Copenhagen. The performers were the wonderful choir Voci Nobili, and this piece was something of their signature piece. It was originally arranged and published as an SATB work, and conductor Maria Gamborg Helbekkmo adapted it for women’s voices. Her adaptation has since been published.


This lists any discs, concerts or collections where this piece is included.




“Music for a while shall all your cares beguile, wond’ring how your pains were eas’d, and disdaining to be pleas’d, till Alecto free the Dead from their eternal band. till the Snakes drop from her Head, and the whip from out her hand”

Text by John Dryden (1631-1700) and Nathanial Lee (c. 1653 – 1692) from their play Oedipus, A Tragedy