I was inspired this morning to work on a Christmas carol but Carol is knockingk on me door yellingk at me to leave here out of this! (HA! I couldn't resist.)
I'll start again seriously. But seriously folks ... I woke up this marnin' with an arrangement of We Three Kings but lost it after getting out of bed. (Don't tell me this never happened to ya). However, after a few cups of Joe, a ham a samich, and me tool-la-box, and the Garritan Christmas CD thread ... Fred, I was able to retrieve the arrangement which is proving a bit challenging. Well, Hemingway here's me question. Ready? Here it tiz .... Waitingk? OK, here we go.
Does the chorus come in after each verse or after every other verse or?
The ending is no trouble and neither is the beginingk. I have sheet music with all five verses (I may decide not to use all five) and chorus but there is no indication of how it may have been or was arranged originally. My guess is it is probably up to how a musical director may wish to arrange it but one can't be sure.
So, if one of you masters of music can give me some guidance I would greatly appreciate it. But if you would rather go fishing, bake a cake, or ride into the country side and take in the scenic sights around you that's OK. However, don't ask me to water your flowers or shine your car or smile after a horse stepped on my left big toe.
But if you do .... Tanks!
Your loving admirer and long lost decomposer, Styxx.
I've found, especially when arranging `out of the box' versions of Christmas Carols and similar types of music like hymns that structure can be thrown out to the wind. For example, I'm working on Carol of the Bells. In order for my version to work I had to eliminate one line of the first verse and I repeat the Merry Merry Merry Merry Christmas line twice the first time through the song.
In other words, do whatever fits your vision.
We are the music makers, we are the dreamers of dreams …
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All of these carols originally had simple, straight-forward arrangements of their sections so that people can easily remember them and sing along. But when it comes to creating new instrumental arrangements, I think we should feel complete freedom in how we structure them.
The only guiding light, I think, should be that the average person can still easily recognize the song, and then they can be caught up with interest in the new, unpredictable version they're hearing.
My first Garritan Christmas CD contribution is a quick, easy example - It was "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen," arranged in a breezy quasi-jazz style, mostly in 5/4. For the intro at the very top of the track, I used just half of the song's "hook"-- the notes for the line "God rest ye merry gentlemen..." but then left it as just that fragment, with the melody left suspended. Then came in a brief section where I introduced my rhythm, and only after that did my version of the melody begin. - In other words - free arranging with no regard of making the results accompaniment to singers.
GO FOR IT!