Song to the Moon 
from "Rusalka"

Song to the Moon, now with a pronunciation guide (see farther down the page). This is the beautiful aria sung by Rusalka, a mermaid or water sprite, in the Dvorak opera "Rusalka".

Download the vocal free sheet music in 5 different keys, in the original Czech, or in an English translation, below.  The standard piano accompaniment is also available, in 3 keys.

Here is my favorite performance of Rusalka's song (very hard to choose!) on Youtube (I apologize for any ads that may be prelude to the video - not my doing!).  Milada Šubrtová was a Czech opera singer:

This lovely aria is a very big song... its highest note, Bb, is beyond the strong part of most singers' voices.  So be careful.  Most of the melody is set high.  

This is not a song for a high school singer to pour vocal energy into.  That is why I have arranged lower settings.

Even if young singers only hear a song or sing through it once to become  "acquainted" with it, that is a plus for their music education, for the refinement of their musical taste, and for the world of opera!

DON'T GIVE THIS ARIA to your high-school student to study.  To my shame, I once gave Song to the Moon to an ambitious 18-year-old, almost surely setting her up for bad habits.  If one is not a voice specialist, it is better as a teacher to steer clear of arias, except perhaps for a passing acquaintance in a low key.  

 Thus, these free lead sheets in lower keys are for them (because I do want them to be familiar with this famous opera aria - and no, I will not be urging them to sound like mature opera singers).

The entire aria with accompaniment is now available, and I have other keys available for piano. In addition, I have made a downloadable pronunciation guide of the Czech lyrics, based on assistance from a friend who is a native of the Czech Republic.  See a bit further down the page.

Here is the melody, with chords, for Song to the Moon in the keys of Gb, F, Eb, D, and C, in Czech:

Song to the Moon from opera Rusalka

Song to the Moon from opera Rusalka, lead sheet for singer

Opera aria

Download vocal part for Song to the Moon in Gb

Download aria vocal part in F

Download vocal line for Rusalka in Eb

Download Rusalka aria in D

Download Rusalka in C

I hear you talking: "Why would ANYONE want to sing Song to the Moon in the key of C??!!"  Well, probably no one would!  

However, the key of C is very useful for those poor vocal students who are struggling with piano proficiency class (you know who you are...), and who would never sit down to wrestle with Rusalka's Song to the Moon in its original key of Gb all on their own.  

They can work with the melody in C and not have to worry about sharps or flats.  After all, what in the world is the chord Bbb/Db? (Answer: it is the same as an A chord with the C# in the bass.)  So the key of C will make a good working copy for them!

Please see the entire aria with accompaniment, below. I am showing pages 1, 3, 7, and 9:

Song to the Moon aria with piano accompaniment

Buy Song to the Moon in Gb (original key), 9 pages, for $4.00:

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Or, buy Song to the Moon down a half step in the key of F, for $4.00:

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Or, buy Song to the Moon down a minor third in the key of Eb, for $4.00:

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Rusalka opera with piano accompaniment

Song to the Moon aria from the opera


Buy Song to the Moon in Gb (original key), 9 pages, for $4.00:

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Buy Song to the Moon down a half step in the key of F, for $4.00:

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Buy Song to the Moon down a minor third in the key of Eb, for $4.00:

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There is a passage that is very difficult for the pianist to execute in a convincing manner, which occurs twice in Song to the Moon.   The reason?  A bad interpretation of what the orchestra is doing, in those measures of the transcription.  BELIEVE ME. Sometimes violins, flutes, or even harps just don't translate well to the piano.

Here is that passage, in the original transcription:

Difficult passage in the orchestral transcription of Song to the Moon

And after much listening to the harps that play these sections of the score, this is MY altered interpretation of that measure:

Smoother & more accurate rendering of the orchestral arrangement of Song to the Moon

It is much more pianistic, and it sounds better too.

This is how I choose to play the accompaniment, but for my customers who purchase this accompaniment, I am offering it both ways, by including an EXTRA page 4 and an EXTRA page 7 along with the PDF (those are the places in the score where this figure appears).

Now here is the pronunciation guide to the Czech lyrics.  I worked these out with the help of a friend who was born and raised in the Czech Republic, and returns there every summer:

Download pronunciation guide for Song to the Moon, free!

Keep moving down the page to find an English translation of this aria...

Here is Renee Fleming (who many think "owns" this piece).  Superimposed on the video of her very slow, but ravishing rendition, is an English translation, rather nice, and more poetic than my simple translation below (but not singable!).

Below is my own very simple and literal English translation of Song to the Moon.   I spent an evening with a friend from the Czech Republic who has spoken Czech from birth, and also speaks very good English.  She says that the vocabulary used in Rusalka is somewhat dated and poetic, and perhaps compares, for English speakers, to a poet from the 1800s.

Rather than attempt to rhyme the ends of phrases, I went for the plain meaning and the correct placement of word stress with the music.  Therefore, this is a very SINGABLE English text.  You can check it out in the Key of C setting below:

Song to the Moon opera lead sheet

Opera lead sheet Song to the Moon from Rusalka

Opera lead sheet Song to the Moon from Rusalka

Download Song to the Moon English translation in Gb, the original key

Download aria in F, English translation

Download aria in Eb

Download song in D

Download aria in C

Yes, "human" and "darling" are what the Czech lyrics say. Also, "Stay a while," and "for at least a little while," are the meanings of chvili and chviličku.

Consider - it is a non-human being, the rusalka or water sprite, who is singing.  So it makes sense for her to call the Prince "human soul".

There is one alteration I made to the rhythm to accommodate the English text, at the bottom of page 3.  Instead of a triplet at the end of measure 119 with two notes in measure 120, I placed 4 sixteenth notes at the end of measure 119, and one note in measure 120.

One more video... with Anna Netrebko.  I love her passion and control (and faster pace).  I also love watching the crowd at this performance... they are there because they love this music:

Perhaps your students will want to know the story of "Rusalka" in order to be motivated to begin learning it (the melody is one that grows on the hearer, not being immediately "catchy").  

Tell them it is considered to be the original story of "The Little Mermaid," borrowed by Hans Christian Anderson.  Rusalki were water nymphs or sprites, who came out at night to dance on the shores of streams, lakes, or marsh ponds, and sometimes bewitched men into joining them in the water (where, sadly, they drowned).  More than that, you will have to research for yourself.  (I WISH I could tell you that it ends happily.)

Buy Song to the Moon in Gb (original key), 9 pages plus 2 extra, for $4.00:

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Buy Song to the Moon in the key of F for $4.00:

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Buy Song to the Moon in the key of Eb, $4.00:

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  • So why should you buy "Song to the Moon" from me, aside from the fact that music stores charge much more for just one copy (not counting postage or sales tax!), while I am only charging $4.00 for the right to print three copies?
  • It is available immediately as a digital download onto your computer.

  • You don't have to download any new software into your computer in order to download this PDF. I don't know about you, but I hate clogging up my computer with yet another program I didn't know I needed. You just need a version of Adobe Acrobat or another PDF reader, which all computers come with. If you DON'T have Adobe Acrobat or a similar program, then you couldn't download any of my other PDFs either.

  • The notes and lyrics are a little bigger than the copies currently available in music stores, making reading easier!

  • Speaking of reading the music, you can print this music on any kind of paper you want, and thus avoid the glare of shiny pages (so irritating for accompanists!).

  • Write and make notes all over these copies, in red and other colors, without feeling you are spoiling your music for posterity. I dislike messing up my music books, but learning the piece is always the first priority. These printouts will make great working copies.

  • Do you need a letter of permission in order to use this music at a competition? Write me through the Contact Me form, and I will email you a personal letter.

  • I give you permission to make up to three copies legally. Do I speak tongue-in-cheek? Not at all -- as music teachers, as music students, you know there are times when you need music RIGHT NOW and your only recourse is to make a copy of copyrighted music...or do without. (People do what they have to do, but there are consequences... Cheating...just a hard on one's character. I believe this is one of the keys of political corruption, one little compromise after another. Not only that, but music teachers teach by example. What are your students learning from you about the value of the work of composers, arrangers, and publishers? Of the value of musicians in general?)

  • Paypal, the payment system I use, is a secure and recognized payment system. You can pay by credit or debit card, or your bank account. E-Junkie delivers the PDF document, working as a partner with PayPal...your purchase is guaranteed.

Tip for Printing

Once you've got the PDF file for "Song to the Moon" sheet music, feed just one page at a time, unless you know you have high-quality paper which won't grab extra sheets when being pulled through the feeder.

Buy Song to the Moon in Gb (original key), for $4.00:

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Buy Song to the Moon in the key of F, $4.00:

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Buy Song to the Moon in the key of Eb, for $4.00:

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Do you have a funny story about this music, or does it remind you of something you'd like to share with other readers? Do you have a question? I'd love to hear it!

Please note that all comments are moderated, and will not appear until I have approved them. Also, IF YOU ARE ASKING FOR MUSIC THAT IS NOT IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN, YOUR REQUEST WILL BE IGNORED. That's pretty much any music written in the last 75 years...

What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

song to the moon/J.A.C. Redford arrangement 
I'm trying to find the sheet music for violin and orchestra for "Song to the Moon", the arrangement by J.A.C. Redford. Dana: I can't find it either. …

Song to the Moon in D major??? 
Hi, I am a 15 yr old vocalist and am searching for this aria in a book/original copy. The only problem is that I need it in the key of D major with the …

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