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Coventry Carol

By English Carol

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Choral Piano (undefined), alto voice, soprano 1, soprano 2
Composed by English Carol. Arranged by Noah Reese. Fold. Octavo. 12 pages. Duration 2 minutes, 53 seconds. BriLee Music #BL1120. Published by BriLee Music (CF.BL1120).

Item Number: CF.BL1120

6.875 x 10.5 inches. Key: G minor. English. English Carol.

The Coventry Carol is one of the most popular carols in the English language. Dating from the 16th century, the tune has been arranged hundreds of times. Reese's three-part mixed arrangement, with interesting counter melodies and rhythmic twists, has an accessible piano accompaniment, undulating at times and supportive throughout. Also available for SSA Voices (BL1079).
Coventry Carol was first performed during the sixteenth century in Coventry, England as a part of the Pageant of the Shearman and Tailors. It was a lament by the mothers of children taken in the Biblical "Slaughter of the Innocents." Robert Croo is credited with writing the lyrics in 1534, and the music was written by an unknown composer in 1591. The original manuscript of Robert Croo's poem lasted until a fire destroyed it in 1879. The underlying mixed-meter feeling of this arrangement is meant to help the piece build momentum to the third verse, helping to tell the tragic story depicted in the poem. The repeating motif is based around the altos' descending chromatic scale. Teaching the alto part to all singers will help them find their entrances throughout those sections.

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