Carol Descants!!!!

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Martin Hall, Nov 25, 2003.

  1. Martin Hall

    Martin Hall Member

    I have searched for some time now to find a printed book of descants for Xmas carols.

    However to no avail, although we all hear the usual ones played frequently.

    Unfortunately, the people I hear playing them have them securely locked in their brain and are unable to reproduce them on paper! Selfish sods!!

    So therefore I am asking you the banding fraternity for assistance!

    Even if I only get the more popular carol's, it will still take some of the boredom out of standing in the supermarket foye.

    Many thanks!
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  3. Roger Thorne

    Roger Thorne Active Member

  4. Martin Hall

    Martin Hall Member

    Thanks Roger, but after following that link it seems that the subject matter discussed is more to do with fanfares for the carol's and not the descants that I refer to. Or am I being thick!!

    Well impressed with the speed of your assistance tho, great site hey!!
  5. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    Many of the most familiar descants to carols originated from the Carols for Choirs arrangements, initially under the auspices of David Willcocks, some of which also include fanfares etc. The harmonisation for the descant verses often differs considerably from the normal versions, and I've been gritting my teeth on several occasions when we've been accompanying singing, using the standard carol books, and choirs and/or congregation proceed to add a descant that does not quite fit :oops:
  6. Dave Payn

    Dave Payn Active Member

    The fanfares are printed with the descants for Ray Steadman-Allen's transcription of the David Willcocks Carols for Choirs series and are published by Rosehill Music Ltd.

    When you say people were playing them 'in their brain' it makes me wonder as bits of the Willcocks 'O Come All Ye Faithful' descant don't fit the normal harmony for that carol!
  7. Martin Hall

    Martin Hall Member

    Thanks Peter!

    I have also been in the chior / band situation and thought "my god what the hell are they doing!"

    The two main descants that generally get played are "Hark the Herald", and "O 'come", usually by the cornet, which fit and generally sound ok.

    They generally come into my head on Xmas day whilst out playing, although the generous amounts of whisky do help to entire into my subconcious brain!
  8. Martin Hall

    Martin Hall Member

    Right ok, just browsed the Rosehill site, and the "Carols for Chiors" is listed, however it seems that they are sold as individual carols, is this correct?

    Bit of an expensive way of obtaining a selection if this is the case!
  9. Dave Payn

    Dave Payn Active Member

    I believe this is the case. I don't think they exist as a 'set'.
  10. Martin Hall

    Martin Hall Member

    Thanks Dave!

    Thats a shame, looks like I shall have to try and get drunk on whisky and write the damn things out!! :wink:
  11. Owen

    Owen Member

    I would say that they are well worth the money even though they may seem a bit pricey. Many of the non-traditional carols are great concert items too - Shepherds Pipe Carol etc which you can either do with a choir or without.
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  13. shedophone

    shedophone Member

    When you say people were playing them 'in their brain' it makes me wonder as bits of the Willcocks 'O Come All Ye Faithful' descant don't fit the normal harmony for that carol!
  14. shedophone

    shedophone Member

    :shock: oops the quote was the beginning bit not the end bit. sorry, hope i dont confuse you! :?
  15. Dave Payn

    Dave Payn Active Member

    I assure you I'm not being 'Copyright police' but there are music publishers who log on to this site and I don't wsih anyone to fall foul. If you wish to do that with the Willcocks descants, you should really get in touch with Oxford University Press for permission.
  16. shedophone

    shedophone Member

    Thanks Dave, thats a very good point.
    Christmas going to my head. i will get in touch with them.
  17. Hilary Mateer

    Hilary Mateer Member

    I wrote out the Descant for O Come all Ye Faithful - Sing Choirs of Angels verse for my junior music group at church to play on their recorders.
    I think it is right, it's how I remember it from singing in a church choir as a teenager anyway.
    I have it as a Capella file or can output is as Midi if anyone wants it

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