Sheet Music: Pastime with Good Company

TitlePastime with Good Company
Alternate titlesThe King's Ballad
ComposerHenry VIII of England (1491–1547)
InstrumentationFlute solo
KeyG minor
Time signature2/2
Tempo112 BPM
Performance time0:30
Difficulty leveleasy
Download printable scorePDF Sheet Music (44 kB) (preview)
Download audio tracksMIDI (change tempo/key) MP3 (258 kB)
Date added2009-07-27
Last updated2009-07-27
Download popularity index☆☆☆☆☆ 0.6 (below average)
Renaissance, Traditional/Folk


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Monday 27 July 2009

Tune of the Day: Pastime with Good Company

English folk song by King Henry VIII of England

Also known as “The King's Ballad”, this folk song was written by King Henry VIII in the first years of the 16th century, shortly after being crowned. It is regarded as the most famous of his compositions, and it became a popular song in England and other European countries during Renaissance times. It is thought to be written for Catherine of Aragon.

This is a fact that most people nowadays don't realize: as a man of noble birth in Renaissance times, Henry VIII was expected to master many skills, including fencing, hunting, dancing, writing poetry, singing, and playing and composing music, and was educated accordingly as a prince. Henry was considered a talented composer and poet by his contemporaries.

“Pastime with Good Company” is supposed to have been played in court, along with all the other of the King's compositions. However, due to its simple and catchy melody, it became a popular tune and was soon afterwards interpreted frequently at English fairs, taverns and events. It is also believed to have been one the favorite musical pieces of Queen Elizabeth I.