Sheet Music: Arrival of the Queen of Sheba

TitleArrival of the Queen of Sheba
from Solomon
Alternate titlesSinfonia from Act III
Opus numberHWV 67
ComposerGeorge Frideric Handel (1685–1759)
InstrumentationFlute and Strings
KeyB-flat major
Time signature4/4
Tempo112 BPM
Performance time3:15
Difficulty levelintermediate
Download printable scorePDF Sheet Music (278 kB) (preview)
Download audio tracksMIDI (change tempo/key) MP3 (2.7 MB)
Play-along accompanimentMIDI (change tempo/key) MP3 (2.8 MB)
Date added2009-09-01
Last updated2009-09-01
Download popularity index☆☆☆☆☆ 2.3 (above average)
Baroque, Oratorios, Wedding music


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Tuesday 1 September 2009

Tune of the Day: Arrival of the Queen of Sheba

from “Solomon” by George Frideric Handel

Handel was 63 years old when he composed Solomon, one of his final masterpieces. This monumental oratorio depicts the three highpoints of the biblical king's life: the building of the temple, the famous judgment, and the visit of the Queen of Sheba. With a dramatic instinct keener than ever, the composer did not hesitate to combine political and patriotic reflections with exaltation of carnal love and celebration of earthly riches.

The sinfonia from act III, commonly known as “Arrival of the Queen of Sheba”, has become one of the the world's best-loved classics. It is perfect for any event, wedding or celebration, and a fun piece to play at a recital.

The opening sinfonia is of unusual scope for Handel's oratorios. It has even been suggested that this piece was not actually composed for the work at hand, but rather was borrowed from another unfinished project.

In its original form, the piece is scored for two oboes and strings. In our arrangement, you can choose to play the part of the first oboe with the provided string accompaniment, or you can play the piece as a duet with a friend. As a fun exercise, it's also interesting to try out the violin part, which carries the famous initial theme!