You’ll Shine in the Light of the Silvery Moon with These Winter Concert Pieces

 

 

By now preparations are underway for your Winter Concert!  ChimeWorks has some suggestions for easy to teach songs with handchime accompaniment that will bring your program ringing success.

During this busy time of the year, let us do the work for you! The lesson plans below are available for immediate purchase and download from ChimeWorks and include goals for NAfMe music standards, objectives and process for teaching in addition to the music score.

Check out the titles below that will have you shining in the silvery moon:

Alleluia by Mozart

This popular melody is taken form Mozart’s larger work, Exultate Jubilate.

  • Use: Sacred, Secular
  • Level: 3 – 6
  • Type: Chords
  • Chords: 4
  • Canon: Yes
  • Topic: Classical, Praise
  • Language: Latin
  • Origin: Germany

Alleluia Round

Alleluia Round is a traditional canon.  Its origin is unknown.

  • Use: Sacred, Secular
  • Level: K – 2, 3 – 6
  • Type: Ostinati
  • Canon: Yes
  • Topic: Classical, General, Praise
  • Language: Latin
  • Origin: Unknown

Dona Nobis Pacem

Dona Nobis Pacem is a traditional song in round or canon form.  The text translates to Grant Us Peace and is taken from the Latin mass.  While the source of this canon is unknown, it is believed to date from the 16th century.

  • Use: Sacred, Secular
  • Level: 3 – 6
  • Type: Chords
  • Chords: 3
  • Canon: Yes
  • Topic: Classical, Peace
  • Language: Latin
  • Origin: Europe

Gaudeamus Hodie

Gaudeamus Hodie translates to Let Us Rejoice Today!

  • Use: Sacred, Secular
  • Level: 3 – 6
  • Type: Ostinati
  • Canon: Yes
  • Topic: Christmas, General, Praise
  • Language: Latin
  • Origin: Europe

 Jubilate Deo

Jubilate Deo can be challenging as a six-part canon.  Adding the ostinati will make it sparkle.  The translation of the Latin is: O be joyful in the Lord.

  • Use: Sacred, Secular
  • Level: K – 2, 3 – 6
  • Type: Ostinati
  • Canon: Yes
  • Topic: Classical, General, Praise
  • Language: Latin
  • Origin: Europe

Now We Say Farewell

Now We Say Farewell is a two-part canon (round) published in Chapel Gems for Sunday Schools published in 1866.

  • Use: Secular
  • Level: K – 2, 3 – 6
  • Type: Chords
  • Chords: 3
  • Canon: Yes
  • Topic: Farewell, Labor
  • Language: English
  • Origin: England

Ode To Joy

Ode To Joy was written by Ludwig van Beethoven and is part of the final movement of his Symphony No. 9.

  • Level: 3 – 6
  • Type: Chords
  • Chords: 5
  • Topic: Classical
  • Language: English
  • Origin: Germany

Rise Up O, Flame

Rise Up, O Flame is a traditional campfire song sung by Girl Scouts in North America.

  • Use: Secular
  • Level: K – 2, 3 – 6
  • Type: Ostinati
  • Canon: Yes
  • Topic: Classical
  • Language: English
  • Origin: England

Sing Together

Sing Together is a folk song of unknown origin.  It is a three-part canon or round.

  • Use: Secular
  • Level: K – 2, 3 – 6
  • Type: Ostinati
  • Canon: Yes
  • Topic: General, Music
  • Language: English
  • Origin: Unknown

Welcome Every Guest

While the song, Welcome Every Guest, appears in Walker’s Southern Harmony published in 1847, it can found earlier in Brownson’s Select Harmony published in 1783.  The reference to the Sacred Nine probably refers to the nine muses of Greek Mythology.  This would be a wonderful opening to a concert program.

  • Use: Secular
  • Level: 3 – 6
  • Type: Ostinati
  • Topic: Music
  • Language: English
  • Origin: America

 

The above lesson plans are on the ChimeWorks website and available at the low price of $2.29 each.  If you’re not already a member, log on for your two-week trial membership today!

Strike a Chord and Join the Chorus – Easy Christmas Lesson Plans

 

Bring some cheer to your class, singing choir rehearsal or Christmas party with these simple carol activities from ChimeWorks.  Using chords or ostinati with handchimes or handbells, our easy to learn harmonizations will put your musicians in the Christmas spirit and have them wanting more throughout the year!

 

Jingle Bells II

Surprise your pre-readers by working on eye-hand coordination with icons and delight them when they ring their beloved carol, Jingle Bells!

 

Pat-a-pan

Ostinati create a delightful accompaniment to Pat-a-pan, a French Christmas carol written by Bernard de la Monnoye (1641-1728) who collected folk songs of Burgundian dialect.  The carol tells of the birth of Christ from the perspective of the shepherds with the text reflecting the sound of the drum – pat-a-pan and of the flute – tu-re-lu-re-lu.

 

Sing Noel!

Go global and celebrate the season with this rhythmic Christmas carol from Liberia using only three chords for harmonic foundation.

 

Joy to the World

A great addition for any social activity during the holidays – distribute the song sheets with handchimes or handbells.  When a word is boxed, the pitch is rung and when it is underscored, the pitch is damped.  Sing in perfect harmony!

 

Christmas Round

Ostinati make this simple, two-part canon sparkle! God Bless All is a Christmas canon that has been sung throughout the centuries.  It’s origin is unknown.

 

Jingle Bells

Three chords chime in Jingle Bells, one of the best known and loved American Christmas carol written in the 1850’s in Massachusetts.

 

Christ Was Born on Christmas Day

Using four chords, harmonize the tune, RESONET IN LAUDIBUS, which dates from the 14th century and was used throughout Europe through the centuries.  The translation below by John Mason Neale is based upon Piae Cantiones, the Swedish collection published in 1582.  Christus natus hodie translates to Christ is born today!

 

Good King Wenceslas

Good King Wenceslas’ text comes from Jon Mason Neale written in 1853.  It is combined with a 13th century tune, Tempus Adest Floridum, a spring-time tune taken from the collection, Piae Cantiones.  The text tells the story of a Czech king, St. Wenceslas, who travels on a winter journey on the feast of St. Stephen to give alms to the poor.  Four chords harmonize this carol beautifully.

 

Angels We Have Heard on High

Perfect for older students and adults, this lesson uses five chords to harmonize the melody.  Angels We Have Heard On High is a French Christmas carol by an unknown text writer and is based on the Gospel of Luke.  It was translated into English during the mid-19th century and gained popularity.  The tune, GLORIA, was arranged by Edward Shippen Barnes.

 

We Wish You a Merry Christmas

Using seven chords, harmonize this holiday favorite! We Wish You A Merry Christmas is a traditional English carol celebrating the tradition of giving carolers rewards for singing at one’s door.

 

The above lesson plans are on the ChimeWorks website and available at the low price of $2.29 for immediate purchase and digital download.  If you’re not already a member, log on for your FREE two-week trial today!

Ringing the Message of Social Justice

Music speaks to our hearts, minds and souls.  Ringing ensembles, too, can perform music that will send a message in these uncertain times of senseless violence, oppression and war.

At ChimeWorks, we offer music that will give your ringers a voice and make a statement to your listeners.  Consider the pieces below that present a significant message.  All of the titles are available for immediate purchase and digital download from ChimeWorks.

 

 

We Shall Overcome from Starting Point, Vol. 1

arr. Sandra Eithun

L1  (2 – 3 Octaves) (3 – 5 Octaves)

 

Make Me A Channel of Your Peace

arr. Jeffrey Honore

L1+ (3 Octaves)

 

Peace

Gregory Norbet arr. John F. Wilson

L1+ (3 – 5 Octaves) with optional voice

 

Let There Be Peace on Earth

arr. Arnold B. Sherman

L2- (2 – 3 Octaves)  (3 – 5 Octaves)

 

Calming Peace

Cathy Moklebust

L2 (2 -3 Octaves) (3 – 5 Octaves)

 

Lord, Whose Love in Humble Service

Cathy Moklebust

L2 (3 – 5 Octaves)

 

Dona Nobis Pacem

Margaret Tucker

L2 (3 – 5 Octaves) Full Score with optional C or Bb instruments

 

O God of Love, O King of Peace

arr. Sandra Eithun

L2 (3 – 5 Octaves)   Full Score with optional flute, voice or SATB

 

I’ve Got Peace Like A River

arr. Linda Lamb

L2+ (3 – 5 Octaves)

Christmas in a Snap

 

Christmas is less than two months away and preparation time for holiday music is quickly diminishing.  Whether you are planning music for a concert, a social gathering or worship, you’ll find the resources below helpful as you choose repertoire.

The collections  feature well-known Christmas carols with the text and  melody line written along with simple chords to be accompanied by handchimes or handbells.  Not only do they avail themselves to almost any ringing ensemble, they are a perfect way to engage your audience this Christmas by having them participate in your program.

Whether you are working with beginning or experiences ringers, these Level 1 arrangements lend themselves to all types of performance possibilities:

  • Solo voice with rung accompaniment
  • Unison Voices with rung accompaniment
  • Bb or C Solo instrument with rung accompaniment
  • Keyboard with rung harmonic accompaniment
  • Combined instrumentation with rung accompaniment

Click the titles below to see sample pages:

Ring & Sing Christmas

12 Christmas carols and 7 secular Christmas songs are presented here as texts paired with simple, chordal, handbell/handchimes accompaniments. Each title is presented in both 2-octave and 3-octave settings. All are in the key most commonly found in hymnals and carol books. The vocal parts can be sung by soloists, choirs, carolers or congregation. The settings may be used alone to accompany group singing or may be added to keyboard-accompanied congregational singing or “sing-alongs.” All the music may be reproduced for use by your choir. 

 Christmas Carol Accompaniments

Christmas Carol Accompaniments, Volume 2

These collections will be an invaluable resource for the Christmas season! They are also a wonderful budget stretcher. With the purchase of these collections, the original purchaser (church, school, or community ensemble) is granted permission to make copies as needed for their choir. The easy accompaniment chords may be played on either handbells or handchimes. The carol melodies may be sung and/or played by an instrument. Sing-along sheets are included, as well as instrumental parts for B-flat and C-treble instruments and C-bass instruments. The accompaniments may be rung with or without keyboard, and a list of harmonically compatible hymnal settings is provided. Suggestions are also included for combing carols into a medley. This flexible collection is ideal for your carol accompaniment needs–whether the melody is sung or played–throughout the holiday season.

The above resources are available on the ChimeWorks website for immediate purchase and digital download

Ring It Now and Ring It Later

As you choose music for Advent and Christmas, consider picking a tune that you might also use later in the year making it appropriate for the liturgical season by merely changing the title.  Allowing this freedom, opens up a new resource to you in strengthening your ensemble.

Mastering a piece that is multi-seasonal helps in a number of ways:

  • If you struggle with rehearsal attendance, this will pare down the time spent on learning notes and allow you and your ringers to focus on musicality.
  • Newer ringers may enjoy the opportunity of playing the piece with more confidence the second time leading to a more worshipful experience.
  • This will benefit your music budget. Who doesn’t love stretching the dollar!

Below are suggestions of titles from ChimeWorks.  All of these titles are written for handbells but are specifically recommended because they work well for handchime ensembles, too.  The titles in bold are as they are published under Handchime Ensembles where they are available for immediate purchase and digital download.

 

Tune:  Puer Nobis

Advent:  On Jordan’s Bank, the Baptist’s Cry

Epiphany:  What Star Is This, With Beams So Bright

Easter:  That Easter Day With Joy Was Bright  (L1)  2 – 3 Octaves  3 – 5 Octaves

 

Tune:  Noël Nouvelet

Christmas:  Sing We Now of Christmas

Easter:  Now The Green Blade Rises

General:  Variations On A French Carol (L2)  2 Octaves with Percussion

 

Tune:  Hyfrydol

General:  Meditation on Hyfrydol  (L3)  3 Octaves

Advent:  Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus

Easter:  Alleluia! Sing To Jesus

General: Love Divine, All Love Excelling

 

Tune:  Morning Song or Consolation

Advent:  The King Shall Come  (L2)  2 – 3 Octaves  3 – 5 Octaves

Thanksgiving:  Give Thanks To God Who Hears Our Cry

Morning or Thanksgiving:  Awake, Awake To Love And Work

 

Tune:  Prospect

Christmas:  The Hills Are Bare At Bethlehem

Pentecost:  The Lone, Wild Bird  (L3)  3 – 5 Octaves with C instrument

 

Tune:  Duke Street

Ascension:  Jesus Shall Reign (L1)  2 – 3 Octaves  3 – 5 Octaves  2 – 5 Octaves

Easter:  I Know That My Redeemer Lives

General:  Prelude on Duke Street

General (Trust):  Fight The Good Fight

General:  From All That Dwell Below The Skies

 

Tune:  Afton Water

General:  As Rain From The Clouds (L2)  3 – 5 Octaves with optional harp

Christmas:  Away In A Manger

Christmas: All Wrapped-up in One Collection

It’s the most wonderful time of the year and probably the most important season for ringing choirs – Christmas!  Get ready for the holiday with these budget-friendly collections below that work well for handchime or handbell choirs.

Not only do these collections offer a variety of music to carry you throughout Advent, Christmas and Epiphany, they are a great resource for all directors to have available for developing choirs as well as for more experienced groups needing music they can learn quickly.  Starting at Level 1 through Level 2+, these collections will allow you to be ready for Worship or Concert.  All of the resources can be found on the ChimeWorks website and are available for immediate purchase and digital download.

Come and Adore

2 – 3 Octaves, 3 – 5 Octaves

Levels 1 and 1+ This charming collection features easy Advent and Christmas arrangements playable on either handbells or handchimes.  Contents:  Ave Maria; Gentle Mary Laid Her Child (Good King Wenceslas); Go, Tell it on the Mountain; God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen; Jesus, Jesus, Rest Your Head; Long Ago, Prophets Knew (On This Day Earth Shall Ring); Once in Royal David’s City

 

I heard the Bells on Christmas Day

2 – 3 Octaves, 3 – 5 Octaves

Level 2   I Heard the Bells is a collection of seven settings appropriate for Thanksgiving, Advent, Christmas and Epiphany including We Gather Together, Prepare the Royal Highway, I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day, Silent Night, Joy to the World, On This Day Earth Shall Ring and We Three Kings.

 

Celebrate the Season

2 – 3 Octaves, 3 – 5 Octaves

Level 2 with optional percussion    Go easy on your music budget with this collection for Advent and Christmas which includes eight of Cathy Moklebust’s most popular arrangements for the season: Away in a Manger; Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus; Infant Holy, Infant Lowly; Rejoice! Rejoice! (Rejoice, Rejoice Believers and Oh, Come, Oh, Come Emmanuel); Rise Up, Shepherd, and Follow (There’s a Star in the East); Still, Still, Still; ‘Twas in the Moon of Wintertime; What Is This Lovely Fragrance?

 

Glad Tidings Ring

3 – 5 Octaves

Levels 2 and 2+   Glad Tidings Ring is a compilation of favorite Advent and Christmas arrangements. This budget-stretching collection features a wonderful variety of seasonal arrangements by six outstanding arrangers: Cynthia Dobrinski; Sandra Eithun; Linda R. Lamb; Kevin McChesney; Anna Laura Page and Margaret R. Tucker.  Titles include:  Earth Shall Ring; He Is Born; Lo! How a Rose; O Little Town of Bethlehem; Rejoice, Rejoice, Believers and Sussex Carol.

Prepare the Way for Advent!

Leaves are falling and soon snowflakes will be, too.  The time has come to begin preparing for Advent and Christmas.  To help make your Advent music search a little easier, ChimeWorks is pleased to recommend the following pieces for the season which will no doubt bring hope, peace and joy to your worshipping congregation.

All are available for immediate purchase and download from Chimeworks.com

 

The King Shall Come

Level 2 with optional percussion

 2 -3 Octaves, 3 – 5 Octaves

 

On Jordan’s Bank the Baptist’s Cry

Level 1

2 – 3 Octaves, 3 – 5 Octaves

 

Savior of the Nations, Come

Level 2 with optional percussion

2 – 3 Octaves, 3 – 5 Octaves

 

Light in the Darkness

Level 2+

3 – 5 Octaves

 

Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence

Level 2 with optional flute or violin

3-4 Octaves

Level 2 with optional percussion and keyboard

2- 3 or 5 Octaves

 

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

Level 2

2 – 3 Octaves

 

Of the Father’s Love Begotten

Level 1+

2 Octaves

 

Long Ago, Prophets Knew

Level 1

2 -3 Octaves, 3 – 7 Octaves

 

Come, Thou Almighty King

Level 2+ with optional percussion

2 -3 Octaves, 3 – 6 Octaves

One, Two…. Who Knew It Would Be This Easy!

So, you’d like to use handchimes in the general music classroom or children’s choir rehearsal but you’re not quite sure where to start?  We have the solution for you!

Start slowly – choose a folk song which you can teach by rote and has a melody that can be harmonized with two chords.  Once the text and melody are learnt, add handchimes in by having your students accompany their singing with chords.

Do this by distributing one handchime to each student and separate the students by chords having the students holding the common pitch stand in the center.  Practice each chord separately.  Then point to group one or two and practice ringing as indicated.

A chord chart indicating the chord by pitch name or color displayed by projector may also be used.  Simply point to the chord at the appropriate time.  This is a great way to begin teaching eye-hand coordination.  Consider putting Malmark’s colored bands on the handchimes to make chord recognition easier.

Begin to practice singing the song along with the chords indicating which chord is to be rung with the text.  If you don’t have enough handchimes to go around add some non-pitched percussion for added rhythm.  In no time, you’ll have music in a snap – of the wrist that is!

Here are some recommended folk songs from the ChimeWorks website that use two chords:

Eency, Weency Spider

Hava Nagila

Hey, Ho! Nobody Home

Hey, Lidee

O, Music, Sweet Music

Rocky Mountain

Six Little Ducks

Skip To My Lou

Ringing Thanks – Repertoire for Thanksgiving

Autumn is here and Thanksgiving is seven weeks away. If you haven’t already chosen repertoire for the holiday, ChimeWorks has some great ideas for your ensemble.  The popular tunes below have several settings for beginning to intermediate choirs and feature handchimes or handbells alone to arrangements that are more flexible to include percussion, keyboard or optional instrumental and choir parts.  All of the titles listed below are available for immediate purchase and digital download.  Click the links to view sample pages and listen to a recording upon availability.

The Ash Grove (Let All Things Now Living)

2 Octaves, Level 3

2 – 3 Octaves, Level 1

 

Many and Great

2 – 3 Octaves with Percussion, Level 1

3 – 5 Octaves with Percussion, Level 1

3 – 6 Octaves, Level 2 with Keyboard & Narrator

 

Now Thank We All Our God (Bach)

4 – 6 Octaves, Level 3 with Keyboard, Optional Brass & Optional Choir

 

Now Thank We All Our God

2 – 3 Octaves, Level 1+ with Optional Bb or C Instrument

3 – 5 Octaves, Level 1 + with Optional Bb or C Instrument

 

All Things Bright and Beautiful

2 – 3 Octaves, Level 2

 

Processional on All Things Bright and Beautiful

3 – 5 Octaves, Level 1

 

This Is My Father’s World

2 – 3 Octaves, Level 1+ with Flute

3 – 5 Octaves, Level 1+ with Flute

3 – 5 Octaves, Level 3- with Optional Flute, Organ and Congregation

Adding Life to Music When Ringing

 

We know a being is alive when we check for pulse.  So, it is for music!  Without pulse, music can be dull.

Some think that only music with quicker tempos can be exciting.  This can’t be farther from the truth!  A case in point would be Ravel’s Bolero.  Watch it here.  Yes, it is pulse that brings music to life.  It’s the underlying beats which are strong and weak that add ebb and flow to our sound that makes it so musical, so alive!

We can bring this concept to our ringing ensembles by having them do a couple of things to accent beats.  But before doing so, we have to teach our ringers to feel the music with its stronger and weaker beats so that it is innate.

Teaching about meter initially is a lesson worth the time as it will always remain.  As you introduce different time signatures, be sure to take the time to introduce the stronger and weaker beats.  Having your ringers clap the 4 beats in 4/4 time and give a heavy stomp on beat 1 and a lighter stomp on beat 3 is a great exercise for new musicians.  Follow suit with ¾ time with the stomp only on 1.

Before stressing too many musical points in the handchime or handbell rehearsal, practice the score so that the notes are fairly comfortable.  At that point, the ringers can focus on musical issues rather than struggle with note reading.

One of the easiest ways to bring out the line in a melody is to have your ringers sing it.  Any nonsense syllable like “la” or doo” will be fine if they are unfamiliar with the text.  Your ringers will naturally accent the beats that are important as they sing and it is important that they feel it with their entire body, especially their arms.  The arm motion is the breath support for the chime or bell and will help the melody to be more lyrical.  Encourage the ringers to move in some as they sing stressing the stronger beats.

Pulse is probably more important in the harmonic accompaniment as it carries the melody.  Sometimes, it may be harder to feel.  When rehearsing, separate the melody from the harmony and have those ringing harmony clap when their notes ring, stressing stronger and weaker beats.   Adding a stomp of the foot on the strongest beat will help as well.

Once your ringers are feeling the pulse in the music, there are few things that they can do to bring out the stronger beats.  The obvious one would be a stronger flick of the wrist when ringing.  Plane is important as we ring and holding the instrument higher (between the breast and shoulder) for stronger beats and lower (between the waist and breast) for weaker beats.

These are just a few concepts to consider as you teach your ringers that all beats are not created equal!