Jingle Bells (arr Gould)

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James Pierpont

James Pierpont (arr. Morton Gould)

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General Info

Year: 1857 / 1952
Duration: c. 4:15
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Song
Publisher: G&C
Cost: Score and Parts - Out of print


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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”.

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


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State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by This Composer