John Dryden: A Song for Saint Cecilia's Day

(664 words)
  • Jena Trammell (Anderson University )

“A Song for St. Cecilia's Day”, composed in 1687, is the first of two great odes written by poet laureate John Dryden and set to music for the annual St. Cecilia's Day celebration held every November 22 from 1683 to 1703 and sponsored by the London Musical Society. St. Cecilia, an early Christian martyr and patron saint of music, was honoured at these public celebrations with concerts and religious ceremonies featuring every year an original commemorative ode commissioned by the Society. Italian composer G. B. Draghi wrote the first musical arrangement for “A Song for St. Cecilia's Day” in 1687. In the 1730s, G. F. Handel created superlative new musical scores for both of the St. Cecilia odes of Dryden.

“A Song for S…

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Trammell, Jena. "A Song for Saint Cecilia's Day". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 February 2003
[, accessed 27 September 2016.]