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'The iron tongue of midnight hath told twelve'

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'The iron tongue of midnight hath told twelve' is a line taken from A Midsummer Night's Dream (Act V, scene 1). The complete line reads 'The iron tongue of midnight hath told twelve: - Lovers, to bed; 'tis almost fairy time.' The music reflects the impish and magical nature of the fairies. The piece is a series of miniatures which should be played together.

Moth flutters around erractically; Peaseblosson is a grumpy fairy; Mustardseed is playful and cheeky; Cobweb is mysterious and questioning and Puck is very fast and spritely in character.

I very much like the idea of a double bass being used to represent creatures that we think of as light and small. Here the player is representing their characters and moods rather than their physical presence. [Edmund Jolliffe]

'The iron tongue of midnight hath told twelve' was premiered at Wells Cathedral School (Somerset) on 30 September 2007 by Louis van der Westhuizen (Double Bass) and Mark Cracknell (Piano).

Edmund Jolliffe's music embraces a huge range of styles from contemporary and classical to songs for shows. He writes for television and theatre but is also established and recognised as a concert composer. Born in 1976, Edmund Jolliffe studied music at Oxford University (1994-97) and completed a Masters in Film Composition at the Royal College of Music (1998-99), with Joseph Horovitz. He also studied on the Advanced Composition Course at Dartington International Summer School with Pavel Novak in 2004, supported by the RVW Trust.

He has written television music for all the terrestrial channels and many of the satellite channels and his concert works have been performed by many leading performers and ensembles. Alongside his career as a composer, Edmund Jolliffe is also a composition tutor at Trinity College of Music (Junior Department) and teaches at Westminster Under School, where he is Assistant Director of Music.


  • Cobweb
  • Moth
  • Mustardseed
  • Peaseblossom
  • Puck

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Cat No. RM400
Supplier Code RM400
Price £9.50
ComposerEdmund Jolliffe
CategoryDouble Bass & Piano
PublisherRecital Music
Difficulty level7 - 8
ISMN 979-0-57045-400-6
EAN-13 9790570454006
Weight 85 grams
Published 14th December 2009
Availability 5 in stock