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Hark! The Herald Angels Swing

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Chris Sharp

Traditional, arranged by Chris Sharp


General Info

Year: 1739 / 2013
Duration: c. 2:30
Difficulty: III (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: FJH Music
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $65.00   |   Score Only (print) - $9.00


Instrumentation

Full Score
Flute I-II
Oboe
Bassoon
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II
Trombone I-II-III
Euphonium
Tuba
Electric Bass (optional)
Piano
Percussion, including:

  • Bells
  • Chimes
  • Conga
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Drum Set
  • Sleigh Bells
  • Vibraphone
  • Triangle


Errata

None discovered thus far.


Program Notes

American music would not be the same without the emergence and influence of jazz as a stylistic and harmonic element in both popular and art music styles. It is only natural that this influence should extended into the widespread musical celebrations of the holiday season that permeate American culture during the month of December. Hark, the Herald Angels Swing is an opportunity experience just that. This arrangement is also a tip of the hat to the great and recently departed jazz pianist and composer Dave Brubeck. The occasional 5/4 measures will no doubt evoke memories of his composition Take Five.

- Program Note by composer


Hark! The Herald Angels Sing is a Christmas carol that first appeared in 1739 in the collection Hymns and Sacred Poems, having been written by Charles Wesley. Wesley had requested and received slow and solemn music for his lyrics, not the joyful tune expected today. Moreover, Wesley's original opening couplet is "Hark! how all the welkin rings / Glory to the King of Kings".

The popular version is the result of alterations by various hands, notably by Wesley's co-worker George Whitefield who changed the opening couplet to the familiar one, and by Felix Mendelssohn. A hundred years after the publication of Hymns and Sacred Poems, in 1840, Mendelssohn composed a cantata to commemorate Johann Gutenberg's invention of the printing press, and it is music from this cantata, adapted by the English musician William H. Cummings to fit the lyrics of Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, that propels the carol known today.

- Program Note from Wikipedia


This spectacular and unique jazz arrangement pays tribute to the great Dave Brubeck. Showcasing a comfortable multi-meter jazz feel, the music gives a contemporary edge to the classic carol. This piece presents a wealth of teaching opportunities in a fantastic new setting.

American music would not be the same without the emergence and influence of jazz as a style and harmonic element to both popular and art music styles. It is only natural that this influence should extend into the widespread musical celebrations of the holiday season that permeate American culture during the month of December. Hark, the Herald Angels Swing! is an opportunity to experience just that. The occasional 5/4 measures will no doubt evoke memories of Brubeck’s composition Take Five.

- Program Note from Louis Pizitz Middle School Symphony Band concert program, 16 December 2015


Commercial Discography

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