Henry VIII Mind of a Tyrant

The new David Starkey Channel 4 series, Henry VIII: The Mind of a Tyrant features  a score by Philip Sheppard. The complete soundtrack for the series draws upon melodies and lyrics written by Henry himself, as well as works by his contemporaries. It can be heard on these pages as free stream. Click the play buttons to hear the tracks.



This video shows the viol consort Fretwork recording the accompaniment to Alma Redemptoris.

O Dolce Nocte (after a madrigal by Philippe Verdelot, words by Niccolo Machiavelli)O dolce nocte, o sanct’
Hore nocturn’ et qete…

Royal 11 E XI      f2v

Without Discord featuring Dot Allison (melody and lyrics by Henry VIII)Without discord
And both accord,
Now let us be.
Both harts alone
To set in one,
Best seems me.



Channel 4 site

Dox Productions

Alamire directed by Dr David Skinner
Alamire directed by Dr David Skinner
Charles Mutter

Performers: Fretwork, Alamire, Richard Campbell, Charles Mutter, Philip Sheppard, Dot Allison
Composer: Philip Sheppard
Music co-producer: Roberto Borzoni

Other Links:

British Library Exhibition

“This exhibition draws on the British Library’s rich collections – including the books that Henry himself chose, read and annotated – which outline the revolutionary change in ideas that took place during the reign of Henry VIII and take us, as nothing else can, into the King’s own mind.”
Dr David Starkey



44 Comments Add yours

  1. Humayun Mirza says:

    The music that is played during the series makes the show come alive. I particularly like the introduction theme, which sounds like “Adieu Madame” but without the lyrics and a stronger melody and more than string intruments. Where can I buy this and other music by you?

    1. radiomovies says:

      Dear Humayun
      Well spotted!!
      Absolutely right – do you want a copy?

  2. Nimmi says:


    Not sure who I am writing this note to, as the website (sorry to say)is a bit confusing! I’ve been watching the mind of a tyrant (absolutely brilliant) and I am in love with the inspirational, spine tinglinging music you guys have made! Superb! Please, please say you’ll be releasing on CD?

  3. Nathan says:

    I heard a bit of ‘Without Discord’ on episode 3 of David Starkey’s series last night and it haunted me.
    Sometimes it’s the soundtrack that can draw you into watching something you never thought you’d find interesting. Thank you.

    1. I can absolutely relate. I saw the Starkey program, episode 4 at precisely 6:45 mins in – and was thunderstruck Emailed folks trying to discover what song was playing and where to purchase to no avail

      Then, getting desperate, I “Shazam’ed” it w/ little hope-voila! It worked!

      The artists involved in this work are pure geniuses in my humble opinion. Thank you so very much!!!

      1. BTW-the song is “Without Accord”

  4. radiomovies says:

    Thanks for your message – it’s my own site. we’re looking into releasing everything very shortly… will let you know soon!

  5. jonah says:

    Mr Shephard the Henry VIII MOAT score is exquisite. It needs to be available to buy pronto.

  6. Ian Armstrong says:

    When will this become available to buy?

    What a superb blend of classical themes, with a modern take.

    Please please make this available to buy.

    Ian Armstrong

  7. Well done for the music. The Adieu Madame piece works wonderfully, I feel, both in the full version and that powerful warning with brass. Is that short version available?

  8. Paul Stevens says:

    Thank you for such fantastic music, it will really great to have it released on CD.

  9. Jon Congdon says:

    I agree with the above comments. As soon as I heard the music I was hooked, fantastic. Hope it’s available ASAP!

  10. Joel Cheetham says:

    When watching the series the music really stands above. I came here and listened to it as a whole, bravo! The historical context adds more depth and a certain enigmatic quality.

  11. Nimmi says:

    OMG Mr Sheppard! I’m absolutely in love with Adieu Madame!! Who did Henry have in mind when he made the melody? Was it for Jayne Seymour? I liked to think it was for Anne but i doubt it! And like Mr Harrison, I also really love the opening theme version of it too, Magnificent! Thankyou. Please tell us soon when you will be releasing..getting a bit impatient 🙂

  12. Margaret H says:

    Really love the music in this series and would love to be able to buy it, particularly Without Discord featuring Dot Allison. Is it available anywhere?

    1. radiomovies says:

      Hopefully soon! We’re just trying to organise a CD and digital release. Many thanks

  13. Maurice Campbell says:

    Loved the opening theme version of Adieu Madame also – please include this on the long awaited CD

  14. M.Parry says:

    PLEASE release this – it is simply wonderful music (although please include the music that accompanies the credits)…

  15. Michal says:

    Yes, the music si beautiful.

  16. Marcela says:

    Extraordinary. I’m hoping they’ll release a CD of all of the tracks.

  17. Nasim says:

    I definitely wish to be on the mailing list. The soundtrack was superb – I particularly loved ‘Without Discord’ featuring Dot Allison.

  18. Caroline says:

    Please place me on the mailing list- I found out about this soundtrack on Youtube and came to like Philip’s other work so much that I downloaded some of it from itunes.

  19. Dave says:

    Absolutely wonderful news!

    Please place me on the mailing list

    Thank you

  20. mikduncan says:

    I keep playing without discord it’s so lovely. I keep imagining Henry singing it to Anne B after one of their many rows – although it was probably meant for another lady.

    Can you add me to the mailing list please.

  21. Kristina says:

    I like ^_^

    Hit right on my “historical music-spot”.

    Well done Philip, and good luck!

  22. harry M says:

    yes please – I’d love to buy a copy.

  23. Hannah says:

    Absolutely incredible compositions, you capture the spirit and drama of such turbulent times perfectly. Hopefully we won’t have to wait too long ’til the cd is available for purchase! Please let me know when it is!

  24. Steed says:

    Great that the soundtrack is being released. A great soundtrack for a great documentary series. Hope it sells well

  25. Jimmy says:

    I just wanted to say that I tested the Henry – Mind of a Tyrant DVD and am still testing versions for foreign markets, there have really only ever been two instances in which the menu loop on the DVD has not annoyed people while testing and those two titles were Henry – Mind of a Tyrant and In the Shadow of the Moon. So I just wanted to say thank you for the wonderful and enduring music, I can’t wait to put the Henry CD next to my Shadow of the Moon soundtrack.

  26. trevor says:

    looking foward to the soundtrack release

  27. John says:

    Stunningly beautiful music. I would be very happy to have a copy of the soundtrack.

  28. Jeff says:

    when is the soundtrack coming out?

  29. Kristinah Poblete says:

    Philip Sheppard and Henry VIII, what a team! I absolutely love the series and the soundtrack.
    “Taunder Naken” especially is so elegantly wistful and dreamy.
    Is the soundtrack available on CD already?

  30. Jan Robitscher says:

    Another great David Starkey series on Henry VIII and fabulous music to go with it!

  31. Rosin Fairfield says:

    So ugly and dissonant not in a creative or enhancing way. trully english!

    1. radiomovies says:

      Thanks for your ‘trully’ worthwhile trolling. I hope you have a lovely day too (in Toulouse).

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