Ding! Dong! Merrily on High

From Wind Repertory Project

Traditional French carol arranged by James D Ployhar

Subtitle: French carol

General Info

Year: 1987
Duration: c. 2:10
Difficulty: II (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Alfred Publishing Co., Inc.
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $70.00; (digital) - $70.00   |   Score Only (print) - $10.00


Full Score
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
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-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Chimes
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

This tuneful French Christmas carol has retained popularity from year to year. This charming arrangement captures the melodic excitement that makes this theme so popular with carolers each holiday season. Chimes play a prominent part in this setting along with chime-like effects in the woodwinds and brass.

- Program Note from publisher

Ding Dong Merrily on High is a Christmas carol. The tune first appeared as a secular dance tune known under the title Branle de l'Official in Orchésographie, a dance book written by Jehan Tabourot (1519–1593). The lyrics are from English composer George Ratcliffe Woodward (1848–1934), and the carol was first published in 1924 in his The Cambridge Carol-Book. Woodward took an interest in church bell ringing, which no doubt aided him in writing it. The macaronic style is characteristic of Woodward’s delight in archaic poetry. Charles Wood harmonized the tune when it was published. More recently, Sir David Willcocks made an arrangement for the second book of Carols for Choirs.

The song is particularly noted for the Latin refrain:

Gloria, Hosanna in excelsis!
[Glory! Hosanna in the highest!]

where the sung vowel sound "o" of "Gloria" is fluidly sustained through a lengthy rising and falling melismatic melodic sequence.

- Program Note from Wikipedia


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

Works for Winds by This Composer


  • Ding Dong Merrily on High, Wikipedia Accessed 26 November 2016*Broughton, B. (1987). Tuba Concerto [score]. Kamlus: Miami, Fla.
  • Ployhar, J. (1987). Ding! Dong! Merrily On High : French Carol [score]. Belwin Mills: Miami, Fla.