Jingle Bells

From Wind Repertory Project
James Pierpont

James Pierpont (arr. Jay Dawson)

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General Info

Year: 1857 / 1992
Duration: c. 2:10
Difficulty: III (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Arrangers Publishing Co.
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $70.00   |   Score Only (print) - $7.50


Full Score
Flute I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet/Bassoon
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II
Trombone I-II
Tuba/E-flat Baritone Saxophone
Percussion I-II-III-IV

(percussion detail desired)


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Jingle Bells is one of the best-known and commonly sung American wintertime songs in the world. It was written by James Lord Pierpont (1822–1893) and published under the title One Horse Open Sleigh in the autumn of 1857. Even though it is now associated with the Christmas and holiday season, it was actually originally written for American Thanksgiving. It has been claimed that it was originally written to be sung by a Sunday school choir; however, historians dispute this, stating that it was much too "racy" to be sung by a children's church choir in the days it was written.

- Program Note from Wikipedia

Although it has become one of the most popular and famous secular Christmas songs, Jingle Bells seems to have been intended simply as a “sleighing song”. Music historian James Fuld notes that “the word jingle in the title and opening phrase is apparently a imperative verb”. In the winter in New England in pre-automobile days, it was common to adorn horses’ harnesses with straps bearing bells as a way to avoid collisions at blind intersections, since a horse-drawn sleigh in snow makes almost no noise. The rhythm of the tune mimics that of a trotting horse’s bells. However, “jingle bells” is commonly taken to mean a “certain kind of bell”. This is a whimsical and interesting treatment of this famous carol arranged by Jay Dawson.

- Program Note from Cockrill Middle School Honors Band concert program, 14 December 2016


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by This Composer


None discovered thus far.

  • Dawson, J. (1992). Jingle Bells [score]. Arrangers' Publishing Co.: [s.l.].
  • Jingle Bells, Wikipedia Accessed 24 December 2015