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Ding Dong! Merrily on High

Ding Dong Merrily on High is a Christmas Carol, and in this picture is a book with the words "A Christmas Carol" on it, as well as assorted christmas decorations.

An exciting arrangement of “Ding Dong Merrily on High” that will challenge the choir whilst still providing interest and variety for all parts.

Arranged for SATB Choir (without accompaniment) by Ben Clapton, each part takes the melody at some stage. As such all parts are actively challenging and highlighted throughout the performance.

Initially arranged in 5/4, the verse has a sort of Mission:Impossible, uneven waltz feel to it. Then in the chorus, it changes to 7/8 which brings the waltz feel into the other direction. In closing, there is a standard arrangement of the verse and chorus in 4/4, which utilises rich harmonies and intersecting parts that brings to life the “evetime song” that exclaims “Hosanna in Excelsis!” 

All parts have opportunities to take the melody. The altos take the first verse, and the sopranos take on the melisma in the chorus. The Second verse sees the tenors take on the melody, while the sopranos once again take on the melismatic chorus, being joined by the altos in a descending line that brings out the waltz falling over itself feel. Finally, in the third verse in 4/4, the Basses take on the melody with the upper parts providing the rich harmonies, with the final choruses passed between the female and male voices.

About Ding Dong Merrily on High

The well-known melody first appeared as a French secular dance known as “Branle de l’Official” in a dance book written by Jehan Tabourot. George Ratcliffe Woodward later penned the English lyrics to “Ding Dong Merrily on High” and was first published in 1924. Then Charles Wood added a harmonisation to the French Melody. While the carol is in English, it is particularly noted for the refrain which is in Latin, in which the vowel sound “o” of Gloria is extended to a 33 syllable long lyric through a lengthy melismatic melodic sequence.

Gloria, Hosanna in excelsis!

(Glory! Hosanna in the highest!)

Buy Ding Dong! Merrily on High at Sheet Music Press

“Ding Dong!” SATB Arrangement (Unaccompanied) of Ding Dong Merrily on High. List price: $9.99.

More Arrangements and Compositions by Ben Clapton

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Choir – Guy Sebastian

Choir” is a song made by Australian recording artist called Guy Sebastian. The song was released on 31 May 2019 as the second single from Sebastian’s forthcoming ninth studio album. The song is dedicated to his great friend and musical collaborator Luke Liang, who died following a battle with mental health. Sebastian said “[His death] was very unexpected. In fact, I’d actually done a gig with Luke, who passed away, just before I left for LA. And I could sense that something wasn’t quite right… It was very hard to process and it still is.” The song was originally a ballad but Sebastian changed it into “an upbeat, poignant song about the choir of voices Liang has joined in death, and the choir of voices “keeping his light alive” on earth.”

This is an arrangement for SATB Choir with piano accompaniment. All parts have opportunity to shine with the melody, while use of harmonies accentuate the performance. There are about 3 bars of A capella singing, which can be accented with hand claps, and the piece finishes with some off-beat accentuations from the Soprano, Alto and Bass parts. All the semiquavers are swung to give the piece a jazzy, RnB feel.
Ranges: Soprano (F4-A5), Alto (C4-D5), Tenor (C3-C5), Bass (F2-D4).

SATB Choir with Piano accompaniment. List Price: US$8.99. Buy it here.

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Let the weak say, I am Strong

I went to Church yesterday, and halfway through, Liesl comes up to me and says “I think they’re doing your song for the songsters message.” Indeed they were, the Songsters message was my arrangement of “Let the weak say, I am strong” by Rueben Morgan. Thanks to not being able to sing (would be too tough for me to get up there with my knee) I instead headed up to the sound desk at the back to record it on my phone.

This wasn’t exactly a complete performance, as there is actually a violin part at the beginning. However, I did write it so that if a corps didn’t have a violin player (which, to be honest, there would be more corps without any musicians than corps who have a violin player), it could still be performed and have the same effect.

I’m really pleased with this arrangement. I think that within it all, every part has beautiful lines that are just a pleasure to sing. Of course, the sopranos have most of the melody. But the lines that I’ve written, particularly the Tenor and Basses are just beautiful. It’s a bit hard to hear in the recording, but the Basses have this great line in the chorus which provides a fantastic grounding to the chorus, while the Tenors get this lovely moving part. I’m also really impressed by the dynamic change in the final couple of lines, which I think provides a real lift to that final line, “Jesus died, and rose again.”

Hope you enjoyed it, and I’ll hope to get a few more out soon.