The Tyger (William Blake)

Sincere thanks to Matthew Curtis ( for this recording. For song description and sheet music, see below.

Description: “The Tyger” is dedicated to my daughter Salima, who asked me if I might try setting this remarkable William Blake poem to music, a daunting thought, to say the least. But I took on the challenge and here is the result. I have created a chromatic melody that twists and turns, echoing the twisted sinews of the Tyger’s heart in Blake’s poem. The penultimate verse includes a dissonant mini-fugue and the song ends on a final, terrifying, triple forte tritone: “Tyger!”

NB: 4 years after composing “The Tyger,” I created a companion piece, also based on a famous William Blake poem, “The Lamb.”

Sheet music (SATB):