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ORPHEUS BRITANNICUS

Crown the Altar,


Deck the Shrine
FROM

Celebrate this Festival, 1693,


Z321/6
COMPOSD

By Mr. Henry Purcell


FOR

Soprano
AND

A THROUGH-BASS
Copyright William F. Long, MMX

Crown the Altar, Deck the Shrine


Nahum Tate
voice

harpsichord

bass 2
(optional)
7

& .

&

Deck

& 43

3
& 4

Original in c minor

Crown

..
.

the

Al

# .

13

&

13

&

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13

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4

.
#

the

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.

Shrine;

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tar,

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Deck

Shrine,

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.

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Deck

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Al

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Be - hold,

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#

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the

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the

# #

? 43

Continuo realized by W. F. Long


? #

Henry Purcell

be-

"Crown the Altar, Deck the Shrine" is an aria from Celebrate this Festival (1693). It is found on page 6
of Book II of Orpheus Britannicus.
The bass is unfigured and, as usual with Purcell's compositions on a ground bass, the harmonies are
often ambiguous. This aria was adapted for a harpsichord piece, A Ground in D Minor. Though that
version does nothing to clarify the harmonies, it does clarify the continuo line by breaking it up into an
eighth note pattern in the tenor over a more slowly descending pattern in a bass part. That bass line has
been adapted for the optional bass 2 part in this version.
The song has been transposed down a third to a more comfortable tessitura.
William F. Long, 2009
Reproduction for non-commercial use permitted.

219

&

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Crown the Altar, Deck the Shrine

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Crown the Altar, Deck the Shrine

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Soprano &
Continuo

Crown the Altar, Deck the Shrine

Nahum Tate

& 43
? 43

& .

Original in c minor

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the

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Shrine;

19

&

13

Henry Purcell

Har -

phick

b
-

throng,

- mo - ny

to

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join;

the

the bright

join,

our

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#
#

Har

# # j

Sa

cred

# # #

Be - hold,

.
J

be-

be - hold

the

Bright

Se -

William F. Long, 2009


Reproduction for non-commercial use permitted.

Crown the Altar, Deck the Shrine

.
&

43

ra

- phick

& b

throng,


Har -

- mo - ny

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55

to

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Shrine,

Deck

Soprano &
Harpsichord

Crown the Altar, Deck the Shrine


Henry Purcell

Nahum Tate
voice

harpsichord

& .

&

Deck

& 43

3
& 4

? 43

Original in c minor

Crown

..
.

the

Al

# .

&

13

&

.
#

the

#
.

19

&

the

Shrine,

the

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the bright

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hold

Deck

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..
.

&

. J

Shrine,

Shrine;

19

tar,

# #

j
#

Continuo realized by W. F. Long

? #

13

Se - ra - phick

William F. Long, 2009


Reproduction for non-commercial use permitted.

Crown the Altar, Deck the Shrine

25

&

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throng

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31

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Soprano

Crown the Altar, Deck the Shrine


Henry Purcell

Nahum Tate

3
&4

. J

Original in c minor

Crown the

&

Al - tar,

the

the

Shrine,

Crown the

Al - tar,

Shrine,

Deck

gamba

throng,

the bright

Se - ra - phick

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Har

& J #

37

Quire

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throng,

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long;

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68

&

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at-tend to

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the

throng,

to

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join;

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75

mo-ny

to

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throng

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44

Deck

the


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Deck

ra

mo - ny

the

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join,

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pre - pare out

Shrine;

the

Shrine.

William F. Long, 2009


Reproduction for non-commercial use permitted.

Harpsichord

Crown the Altar, Deck the Shrine


Henry Purcell

Nahum Tate

& 43 ...

j
#

Continuo realized by W. F. Long

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William F. Long, 2009
Reproduction for non-commercial use permitted.

Crown the Altar, Deck the Shrine

&

42

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.

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.

# # #
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49

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Viola da Gamba

Crown the Altar, Deck the Shrine


Nahum Tate
bass

# #

? 43

Henry Purcell

# #

? 43


7

# # #
? #

bass 2
(optional)

# #
#

13

19
? #
13

19

25

25


? #

31

31

37

37

43
? #

43

# #

# #

# # #


#


#

William F. Long, 2009


Reproduction for non-commercial use permitted.

Crown the Altar, Deck the Shrine


49

49

#
#

55

# #

# # #


#
61
? # # #

55

61

? #

67

67

73

79

# #
#

# # #

79
? #
73

# #

This aria was adapted for a harpsichord piece, A Ground in D Minor. That version clarifies the continuo line by
breaking it up into an eighth note pattern in the tenor over a more slowly descending pattern in a bass part. That
bass line has been adapted for the optional bass 2 part in this version. If another instrument, e.g. the harpsichord,
plays the regular bass line, the gambist (cellist, bassoonist, etc.) may play the bass 2 part