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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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The Story of Christmas

This Advent, I’m looking at Christmas Carols and Christmas Songs, to see what light they can shed on the Christmas Story, on Christmas, and on Christ. To start with, this is one of my favourite songs from my childhood.

Tell me the story of Christmas,
Tell me the story of Christmas,
Tell me the story of Christmas,
What would you like to know?

This song is pretty much a basic telling of various parts of the Christmas story. And that itself is a really good thing. It is a great idea to remind ourselves of the story of Christmas each year.

What did the three wise men bring?
Gold Frankincense and myrrh

Why were the Shepherds afraid so?
An angel came and spoke to them

What did the angel tell them?
To you is born this day

Born in the city of David
A Saviour who is Christ the Lord

Glory to God in the Highest
And peace on earth, goodwill to men.

That is the story of Christmas,
That’s all you need to know

Born in the City of David, Christ the Lord. The reason we celebrate Christmas. This Christmas, remember who we celebrate and the reason he came down from heaven.

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