Those Green christmas books

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by tubagod, Sep 22, 2010.

  1. tubagod

    tubagod Member

  2. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    There are a mixture of pieces, some originally published in the SA "General" series, some in the "Triumph" series. The "General" Series numbers will need pretty much a full band to play them properly, the Triumph Series were originally scored for a reduced score line-up, comprising Sop, 1st Cornet, 2nd Cornet, 1st Horn, 2nd Horn, 1st Bari., 2nd Bari., 1st Trom., 2nd Trom., Bs. Trom., Euph., Eb Bass, Bb Bass & Perc.

    There is frequently some divisi writing in the cornet parts, so I would say you would need 4 or 5 cornets. There is lots of cross cueing, so technically 2nd horn and 2nd Bari. parts can be ditched, as can all trombone parts. On paper you can play them with one bass, however if you play the pieces with the absolute theoretical minimum combo, they will sound a bit thin.

    It depnds on what you mean by a "small" band, really. If you're talking about a really small line-up, then these are the books you really want:

    Hope that helps.
  3. tubagod

    tubagod Member

    it does actually :)

    thank you very much!
  4. Active Member

    Couldn't have put it any better myself, Gareth!
    Thank you.
  5. delboy822

    delboy822 Member

  6. cornet-blower

    cornet-blower New Member

    Just to clarify (I hope) - there have been two different sets of red carol books mentioned:

    New Christmas Praise - contains carols in traditional hymn book style format (no or little added decoration) and as Katie states in her post it does include basic versions of several secular (or contemporary) carols at the back.

    Sounds of Christmas - is a set of carol arrangements (including a few marches) which expands on the basic carols with linking passages, changes of key, harmonic developments and rhythmic changes. Some pieces also combine carols in 'medley' format.

    Both books will work successfully with a minimum of 4/5 players up to a full band.
  7. P_S_Price

    P_S_Price Member

    And to confuse, there is also a further Green Book (Dark Green) that contains a compilation of many Christmas Marches/Selections/Arrangements etc that have been published individually over the years (eg Christmas Joy, Christmas Praise, the Carollers etc), but this is aimed at full bands (SA configs)
  8. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    ... which is exactly what the OP was asking about ... :rolleyes:
  9. P_S_Price

    P_S_Price Member

    Ah I thought he was referring to the 'Old' Green Carol Books which were never basic SATB.
  10. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    Not so. If you look inside the front covers of the original "Christmas Praise" (Green) Books, you'll find the same legend as in the original Tune Book Supplements (and the later "New Christmas Praise"):

    "Soprano: Solo/1st Cornet
    Alto: 2nd Cornet; Solo/1st Horn
    Tenor: 2nd Horn; 1st Baritone
    Bass: Eb Bass; Bb Bass
    All other parts used for doubling and colour" (or similar wording)

    Were it not for the additional secular Christmas melodies included in the "New" CP, I would much prefer to use the original CP books for small-group carolling purposes; the original SATB harmonisations were more "classically" satisfying and professionally scored than many of the new versions ... (IMHO, of course ;))
  11. P_S_Price

    P_S_Price Member

    But in my view it Lied I am afraid.

    If you review the arrangement of O Holy night (Just one of many examples) its clearly not SATB. There are basic Harmonies misisng all over the place if you picked the wrong combinations of 2nd cor/sol-1st horn/2nd Hor-1st Bar/Eb-Bb.

    As someone who used to, at one corps, go out in December with only 4 players sometime We had to pick with care.
  12. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    Well, in the case of "O Holy Night", the original, being for solo voice with piano accomp. wasn't SATB anyway, so it's hardly a fair example. And, no, I wouldn't dream of attempting it with only 4 players. Aside from that, I would dispute your assertion that there are "many" other examples. I'm not saying I know the books very well, but even now I can still call the numbers of virtually all the carols from memory ...
  13. Aussie Tuba

    Aussie Tuba Member

    we have played O Holy Night from the new red book with 6 players quite succesfully so it is still possible even with a small group.
    I must say I like the look of the new Green book with all those christmas arrangements in one place. Will be mentioning that to Our Bandmaster as soon as I see him after the school holidays. Looks like a winner
  14. Active Member

    It's not that new, it's been available for several years.
  15. Aussie Tuba

    Aussie Tuba Member

    Sorry. Were out in the sticks over here. In fact one place we went to play we ran out of sticks Just empty ground for miles. We were in a small church and there was nothing else. not realy sure where the people came from that came to hear us. Not that there were many.
  16. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    I remember the disappointment the first time we played "Stable door" from the new books - all the lovely horn scoring gone for a burton :(

    Same thing with the bass part in "Brightest & best" - cue for a bit of "misreading" of the part (as we're not allowed to improvise :oops: )
  17. P_S_Price

    P_S_Price Member

    No its funny our BM wont allow that either. ;)

    THQ IMED have done to the Carol books what they did to the Old Tune Books. (Robe of White immediately springs to mind).
  18. P_S_Price

    P_S_Price Member

    The New red Carol book is a different kettle of fish. It does seem to stick to SATB.
  19. P_S_Price

    P_S_Price Member

    I know what you mean, having spent over 30 years playing them every Christmas, on a variety of parts, the arrangements were like Old Friends.

    My Favourite trick, when I used to live in London and commute, was to go to the band playing in the station (when I saw them using those books) and ask for O Holy Night, and watch the faces of the Cornets :biggrin:!

    (Mind you I hated it when it was done to us. After a couple of hours Solid freezing Cold on the High Street we used to dread that one).
  20. sbandsman

    sbandsman Member

    I used to find after playing for the first week of caroling the books were ether dispensed with/swapped around or just put up for show, as the memory took over from playing them for so many years. That used to be "fun"!!!!!!!!!