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Coventry Carol Ensemble
|PDF or LHS||Downloadable|
|Accompaniment||Ensemble, Misc Instruments, Voice or Chorus|
|Harp Type||Lever Harp, Pedal Harp|
Voice, Flute, Harp 1, Harp 2
This amazing melody has endured for centuries and is a regular part of many musical Christmas celebrations. Emotions run deep within the music. Intermediate level for Pedal or Lever Harps. Harp1 and Harp 2 and Voice. Key of e minor with Preset D#s. There are a couple of lever changes to accomplish the Picardy Third, a lovely musical device typical to those times. Verse 1 may be a Harp 1 solo with solo instrument entering on Verse 3. Voice may fit into the desired method of playing.Harp 3 may substitute if no voice or flute or other solo instrument is available.
Some interesting history:Traditional English Carole dates from 1591. Words were recorded by Robert Croo is 1534. The author of the words and music is unknown. Originally, the carol was performed in Coventry in England as part of a mystery play called “The Pageant of the Shearmen and Tailors”. The play depicts the Christmas story from chapter two in the Gospel of Matthew. The carol refers to the Massacre of the Innocents, in which Herod ordered all male infants under the age of two in Bethlehem to be killed. The lyrics of this haunting carol represent a mother’s lament for her doomed child. It is the only carol that has survived from this play.