Without a Summer: The music

If you were curious about the music in 1816, I have a playlist for you for Without a Summer.

Go ahead, I’ll wait here while you start that going. Got it?

As they walked toward the front of the house, the sound of a pianoforte led them to the music room. The tune was a simple one, adequately played but without the authority of a true musician. Melody’s voice rose above it in a clear, sweet accompaniment.

Now, not all of the songs on that list make it onto the page by name, but they exist in the world with the exception of one…

Twas in the Winter Cold is about fifty years too late, but I used the structure of the song to write something for a scene. In the book, you’ll see “Twas in the Summer Warm,” sung by coldmongers. The new lyrics are:

But I have, when the sun is high,
One offering in my power;
’Tis winter deep in me,
and I with my heart and with my glamour.
O God, O Brother let me give,
The gift of blessed cool to Thee;
And that through your Grace I may live,
May pure and spotless be . . .

The other music is either referred to, played, or something that a young lady of quality might take in at Fairfax’s Symphonium.

“It looks as though the price of grain will continue to go up. Crops are failing everywhere. The Luddites had another march in Bristol and destroyed three or four frames. Two of them were shot. The Luddites, I mean, not the frames. A volcano exploded on the isle of Tambora—that is in the Indies.” Melody tapped the paper and wrinkled her nose. “Also, long sleeves are very much in vogue right now, which only makes sense with the weather. Oh! Do you think we might go to Fairfax’s Symphonium sometime next week? They have a glamoured recording of the pianist John Field playing his newest composition that I should like to hear.”


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1 thought on “Without a Summer: The music”

  1. Thanks for sharing! This is a great playlist. I already knew the big names like Vivaldi and Beethoven, but I really enjoyed the English Country Dances.

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