The relationship between music and food goes back a long way. Whilst music has often been inspired by such lofty themes as love, war, royalty, and so on, it is indicative of music’s presence in everyday life that there have long been musical compositions celebrating food and drink. In our new exhibition in the Anderson Room (from 24th July) we will be showcasing some of the tastiest examples from our collections.
To whet your appetite, take a look at our menu of culinary performances!
From the pub sing-along to the temperance song to the tea-drinking ditty, songs concerning liquid refreshment have always had a special place in popular music, particularly comic songs. Victorian music hall audiences were regaled with the merits of champagne, ale (‘arf a pint or more of it!) and advised not stint themselves of food, drink, or anything else by Marie Lloyd.
The drinking song has often made it from the pub to the operatic stage
To kick off the meal with a seafood starter, try this popular Dublin folk song
Moving on with the meal, beef seems to be a particularly popular musical main course:
Rivalled only by pies
And for those who prefer a cheeseboard to a dessert, it’s back to the music hall
The links between food and music do not stop at music written about food, however. Many great musicians have also been connoisseurs of good food and drink, and some have even inspired recipes or developed their own dishes. A few to try include Tournedos a la Rossini, developed by Rossini during a break from opera-writing, Mozartkugeln, a chocolate-covered confection of marzipan and nougat developed in Salzburg and named after its most famous son, and Peach Melba, which was developed by the French chef Escoffier for opera singer Nellie Melba. To reflect this, the exhibition will include some recipe books to inspire a music-loving cook!
And finally, a post on music and food would not be complete without a mention of the vegetable orchestra, who prove that sometimes food is all you need for a musical performance.
For more musical morsels, check out the Musical Feast exhibition in the Anderson room from next Friday onwards – be our guest!