An English Carol Medley — brass quintet

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This medley brings together four familiar English carols in an easy-to-play, attractive arrangement. 

“Ding, Dong! Merrily on High” is actually French in origin, appearing as the tune “Le Branle de l’Official” in Orchésographie, a book of dances written by Thoinot Arbeau and published in 1588. Its lyrics, about Christmas bell-ringing, were written by Anglican priest George Ratcliffe Woodward and published in his Cambridge Carol-Book in 1924. “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen” first appeared on an English broadsheet about 1760; its composer and lyricist are unknown. “Here We Come A-Wassailing” was also reportedly printed on a broadsheet for distribution around Yorkshire circa 1850. “Good King Wenceslas” is known as an English carol for its lyrics, written in 1853 by the great hymn-writer and Anglican priest, John Mason Neale. However, its tune owes greatly to “Tempus adest floridum,” a Spring carol appearing in the 1582 Finnish song collection Piae Cantiones.  

©Copyright 2012 Todd Marchand / Con Spirito Music

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