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Herman Melville Music

Billy Budd Opera

The score for this operatic adaptation of Melville's novel was composed by Benjamin Britten. His friend - the novelist, lecturer, and literary critic E.M. Forster- wrote the libretto.

Bernard Herrmann, Moby-Dick Cantata

Composer Bernard Herrmann wrote this musical arrangement inspired by Moby-Dick. It was recorded in the 1960s.

Orson Welles

It's not music per se, but you can download Orson Welles' dramatic 1946 radio broadcast of Moby-Dick. Welles' "War of the Worlds" broadcast was so terrifying that people thought that aliens were actually attacking. We don't know if this broadcast inspired any grudges against giant whales.

Sea Chanteys

Melville spent much of his young adult years out at sea, where he would doubtlessly have heard sailors entertaining themselves with songs and chanteys. What's your favorite? "Dredgin' Is My Drudgery?" "Tommy's Gone to Hilo?" "The Girls Around Cape Horn?"


The DJ and musician, whose real name is Richard Melville Hall, is a distant relative of Herman Melville. He has yet to make a whale-themed record, but we are still holding out hope.

The Herman Melville Experience

This Baltimore-based band pays homage to Melville in their name and logo. According to their MySpace page, their lyrics are inspired by literature.

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