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CLARINET CHRISTMAS MUSIC
20 Family Clarinet Carols Trad. arr. Alun Cook
for Clarinet Quartet - 3 Bb Clarinets and Bass Clarinet
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These traditional Christmas carols and songs have been arranged (in "singable" keys) for Clarinet Quartet.

I have arranged these carols for other combinations (brass quartet, saxophone quartet and woodwind quartet) but the parts are not interchangeable as the keys and harmonies have been changed to better suit each combination.

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PDF icon Easy 14m 26s
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CLARINET CHOIR
Bethlehem Ride Alun Cook New - November 2018
Clarinet Choir - Minimum of 6 Bbs and 1 Bass Clarinet.
Full scoring: 1 Eb, 4 Bbs, 1 Alto Cl, 2 Basses, 1 Contra Alto, 1 Contra Bass
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A spirited original Christmas carol which interpolates the words and music of "O Little Town of Bethlehem" as a countermelody.

This version for Clarinet Choir was conceived principally as a "stand-alone" instrumental, but there is no reason why it cannot be performed with a choir, either full SATB or SA, or just the Soprano line wih a junior choir. It could even be performed as an instrumental with male voices singing the ("O Little Town") countermelody. The choir versions are available under the Christmas - Carols - section of this website.

The Clarinet Choir may consist of as few as 6 Bb Clarinets and 1 Bass Clarinet, as the Bb and Alto parts are covered by special Bb parts, and the 2nd Bass Clarinet and Contra parts are optional.

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PDF icon Moderate 4m 08s
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Carols of Old England Trad. arr. Alun Cook
Clarinet Choir - Minimum of 6 Bbs and 1 Bass Clarinet.
Full scoring: 1 Eb, 4 Bbs, 1 Alto Cl, 2 Basses, 1 Contra Alto, 1 Contra Bass
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Many of the carols in this medley date from times well before their first publication and may come from the medieval period. Whereas we now associate Carols with Christmas, traditionally they were a popular form of song and dance devoted to a seasonal or ecclesiastical occasion, but the Church disapproved so the melodies became separated from the dance. For example the famous “Deck the Hall” was originally a Welsh carol celebrating the coming of spring and had decidedly secular words (bosums, blossums, blisses and kisses).

The parts are not too hard. The Eb part is covered by an extra Bb part and the Alto Clarinet part is covered by Clarinet 5. The 2nd Bass Clarinet is optional as are the contra parts.

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PDF icon Moderate 7m 45s
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Christmas on The Downs Trad. arr. Alun Cook New - November 2018
Clarinet Choir - Minimum of 7 Bbs and 2 Bass Clarinet.
Full scoring: 1 Eb, 5 Bbs, 1 Alto Cl, 2 Basses, 1 Contra Alto, 1 Contra Bass
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This medley takes four traditional carols and adds a little modern Christmas spice.

In Sussex, a county on the south coast of England, the magnificent chalk cliffs named “The Seven Sisters” provide wonderful views of any approaching ships, although on Christmas Day in the morning one might hope that the sailors were all safely tucked up in bed. The words of “I Saw Three Ships” are from the 17th Century and as they claim to see ships sailing into Bethlehem, seeing them from the Sussex cliffs seems just as likely.

“Mummers” were seasonal plays performed by amateur actors and the Sussex Mummers' Carol has ancient origins but is now most usually heard in a gloriously rich instrumental version by Percy Grainger. The melody of “The Sussex Carol” (On Christmas Night all Christians Sing) was noted down by Ralph Vaughan Williams (a notable collector of folk-songs) in Horsham in the 1900's but its origins are thought to be from the 17th Century. “Wassailing” involves singing and most probably involves drinking copious quantities of “Cider”. The southern counties are home to cider orchards where the traditional ritual of “Wassailing” celebrated the apple harvest and the hopes for the coming year's crop. It also came to mean going from door to door singing carols. “Waes Hael” comes from the Anglo-Saxon and translates as “are you well” or “be thou hail”.

The Eb and Alto parts are covered by alternative Bb parts and contra parts are optional.

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PDF icon Moderate 5m 20s
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Christmas with the Merry Gentlemen? Alun Cook
Clarinet Choir - Minimum of 6 Bbs and 1 Bass Clarinet.
Full scoring: 1 Eb, 4 Bbs, 1 Alto Cl, 2 Basses, 1 Contra Alto, 1 Contra Bass
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"God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen", so why is the music so miserable? Tidings of comfort and joy about the birth of Jesus? They don't seem very pleased! Actually the medieval feel of the original make this one of my favourite carols and in this Fantasia on the theme, the Gentlemen end up a little more cheerful although they do have some stressful times along the way. The parts are not too hard although some agility is required in the Bb parts. The Eb part is covered by an extra Bb part and the Alto Clarinet part is covered by Clarinet 5. The 2nd Bass Clarinet is optional as are the contra parts.

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PDF icon Moderately hard 4m 19s
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Dasher and Dancer (Reindeer Ramble) Alun Cook
Clarinet Choir - Minimum of 5 Bbs and 1 Bass Clarinet.
Full scoring: 2 Ebs, 5 Bbs, 1 Alto Cl, 1 Basses, 1 Contra Alto, 1 Contra Bass, Sleigh Bells
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A light hearted piece for Christmas time but can be enjoyed at any time! Originally for a small clarinet ensemble (see above), this version expands to give the extreme instruments a good crack of the whip (does Santa use a whip?). All the extra parts are optional so the core is 5 Bb Clarinets and Bass, with additional parts for two Eb's (and an equivalent Bb part), Alto Clarinet (or Cl 5), and parts for Contra Alto and Contra Bass. There is also a part for Jingles which adds a festive touch.

Dasher and Dancer is also available for Wind Band and a smaller clarinet ensemble.

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PDF icon Moderate 3m 38s
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Deck The Halls - Traditional arr. Alun Cook
Clarinet Choir - Minimum of 6 Bbs and 1 Bass Clarinet.
Full scoring: 1 Eb, 4 Bbs, 1 Alto Cl, 2 Basses, 1 Contra Alto, 1 Contra Bass
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A bright cheerful carol for Christmas or to guide in the new year. The parts are not too hard although a little dexterity is required in the Bb parts. The Eb part is covered by an extra Bb part and the Alto Clarinet part is covered by Clarinet 5. The 2nd Bass Clarinet is optional as are the contra parts.

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PDF icon Moderately hard 3m 37s
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Hark! The Herald Angels Sing (with Fanfare and Descant) Mendelssohn arr. Alun Cook New - November 2018
Clarinet Choir - Minimum of 6 Bbs and 2 Bass Clarinets (although 1 Bass if essential)
Full scoring: 1 Eb, 4 Bbs, 1 Alto Cl, 2 Basses, 1 Contra Alto, 1 Contra Bass
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This arrangement may be played with or without choir. It has a Fanfare which may be played at the start of the piece or before the final verse, in which case use the last 2 bars of verse 1 as an introduction.

If playing with a choir, Verses 1 and 2 may be sung in traditional (Mendelssohn's) four part harmony. The harmonies will fit even though the instrumental parts are developed. The final verse should be sung in unison with the optional descant part.

The Clarinet Choir may consist of as few as 6 Bb Clarinets and 2 Bass Clarinets, as the Bb and Alto parts are covered by special Bb parts, and the Contra parts are optional. Bass Clarinet 2 is essential and Bass Clarinet 1 is not intended to be optional although the arrangement will work without it if you have no choice.

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PDF icon Moderate 3m 51s
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Huron Carol Canadian traditional. arr. Alun Cook
Clarinet Choir - Minimum of 6 Bbs and 1 Bass Clarinet.
Full scoring: 1 Eb, 4 Bbs, 1 Alto Cl, 2 Basses, 1 Contra Alto, 1 Contra Bass
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The Huron Carol has one of the most beautiful and simple melodies I know. The resulting arrangement has a slightly "rocky" feel and is not an accompaniment for choir, just incidental music for the season. This is an extensive reworking of my original arrangement for saxophones.
The parts are not too hard. The Eb part is covered by an extra Bb part and the Alto Clarinet part is covered by Clarinet 5. The 2nd Bass Clarinet is optional as are the contra parts.

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PDF icon Moderate 5m 04s
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Jesu, Joy of Mans Desiring - J.S.Bach arr. Alun Cook New - September 2018
Clarinet Choir - Minimum of 6 Bbs and 1 Bass Clarinet.
Full scoring: 1 Eb, 4 Bbs, 1 Alto Cl, 2 Basses, 1 Contra Alto, 1 Contra Bass
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Smooth and serene and frequently played at weddings and at Christmas, this famous movement from J.S.Bach's Cantata BWV147 presents little technical difficulty.

Alternative Bb parts are provided to cover the Eb and Alto Clarinets, so it may be played by a minimum of 6 Bb clarinets and 1 Bass, with the 2nd Bass and Contra parts being a bonus if you have that luxury.

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PDF icon Moderate 3m 22s
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Nun Danket Alle Gott (from Bach Cantata 192) - J.S.Bach arr. Alun Cook
Clarinet Choir - Minimum of 8 Bbs and 2 Bass Clarinets.
Full scoring: 2 Eb, 5 Bbs, 1 Alto Cl, 2 Basses, 1 Contra Alto, 1 Contra Bass
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Glorious Bach! Bach wrote several versions of the chorale "Nun danket alle Gott" and this is the 1st movement from Cantata BWV192. All the parts are busy and require concentration resulting in a glorious sound on clarinets. This is arranged for quite a large ensemble - 2 Ebs (with alternative Bb parts provided), 5 Bbs, 1 Alto (with alternative Bb part), 2 Basses and optional Contra Alto and Contra Bass, so minimum requirements are 8 Bbs and 2 Basses.

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PDF icon Moderately difficult 5m 41s
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Nutcracker Tchaikovsky arr. Alun Cook
Clarinet Choir - Minimum of 7 Bbs and 2 Bass Clarinets
Full scoring: 1 Eb, 5 Bbs, 1 Alto Cl, 2 Basses, 1 Contra Alto, 1 Contra Bass

Four movements: Overture Miniature, Dance of the Mirlitons, Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy and Trepak

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I think "finger-cracker" might be a more appropriate title, with some challenging parts in this suite of four movements from Tchaikovsky's ballet, "The Nutcracker". The Eb and Alto Clarinet parts are covered by alternative Bb parts and the Contra parts are optional. The set comes with two scores. One is in a smaller font which is more manageable (24 pages) but the print is small - the other is much easier to read but you will need to print 72 pages.

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PDF icon Difficult 8m 36s
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O Holy Night (Cantique de Nöel) - Adolphe Adam arr. Alun Cook New - October 2018
Clarinet Choir - Minimum of 6 Bbs and 1 Bass Clarinet.
Full scoring: 1 Eb, 4 Bbs, 1 Alto Cl, 1 Bass, 1 Contra Alto, 1 Contra Bass
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A famous and beautiful Christmas carol, with all three verses set so it would be possible to accompany a choir, although it is intended as an instrumental (the key is concert Eb which is a common choice of choirs).

I have scored it for a small ensemble as I know not all of you have large Clarinet Choirs so 6 Bb's and 1 Bass (as per my MP3) will suffice if you are with Eb or Alto Clarinet as there are alternative Bb parts to cover these, and the Contra parts are optional.

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PDF icon Moderate 6m 08s
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The Santa Express - Alun Cook
Clarinet Choir - Minimum of 7 Bbs and 1 Bass Clarinet.
Full scoring: 1 Eb, 5 Bbs, 1 Alto Cl, 2 Basses, 1 Contra Alto, 1 Contra Bass
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At Christmas in the depths of the English countryside on the Kent and Sussex border, steam railways run Santa Specials as a Christmas treat for young and old alike. This popular piece, originally for saxophones, captures the hurrying-along of the steam engine with its cargo of excited children hoping to see Santa Claus - and they will! The Santa Express is available in many versions including those for Orchestra, Wind Band, Saxophones, and even a Piano Duet.

There are alternative Bb parts to cover the Eb and Alto Clarinets, and 2nd Bass and the Contra parts are optional.

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PDF icon Moderate 3m 44s
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Shchedryk - A New Year's Carol - Mykola Leontovych (Ukrainian Trad.) arr. Alun Cook
Clarinet Choir - Minimum of 5 Bbs and 1 Bass Clarinet.
Full scoring: 1 Eb, 4 Bbs, 1 Alto Cl (or another Bb), 1 Bass, Contra Alto, Contra Bass
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In "the West" we know this as "The Carol of the Bells", but the original was written as a New Year's carol (or Shchedrivka) by Mykola Leontovych based on a Ukrainian folk song melody which tells the story of a Swallow which flies into the house and tells of the joys of spring to come. It is still regularly performed by choirs in its original form in the Ukraine and beyond with their magnificent choral sound. This arrangement can be played with a small ensemble - just 5 Bb Clarinets and Bass Clarinet. The Contras are optional, the Alto part is covered by Clarinet 5 and the Eb part is non-essential but adds colour.

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PDF icon Moderate 3m 23s
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Sheep May Safely Graze - J.S.Bach arr. Alun Cook New - October 2016
Clarinet Choir - Minimum of 7 Bbs and 2 Bass Clarinets.
Full scoring: 1 Eb, 5 Bbs, 1 Alto Cl, 2 Basses, 1 Contra Alto, 1 Contra Bass
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A beautiful, peaceful aria from Bach's Cantata BWV 208, "freely transcribed" for Clarinet Choir with its tonal range allowing the rich Chalumeau register to contrast with the upper register (which must always remain sweet - dolce)! Purists might prefer a stricter interpretation of the original, but I have gone for rich harmonies which are possible within Bach's outline. Although not as wild as Grainger's wonderful "Blithe Bells", it is still quite delicious to play.

There are alternative Bb parts to cover the Eb and Alto Clarinets, and the Contra parts are optional.

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PDF icon Moderate 6m 04s
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CLARINET ENSEMBLE
Dasher and Dancer (Reindeer Ramble) Alun Cook
for Clarinet Ensemble - 5 Bb Clarinets and Bass Clarinet
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A light hearted piece in a Christmas mood. Written for 5 clarinets and Bass Clarinet. The parts get easier as you go down the list. Parts 1,2,3 are about grade 5-6 standard, with part 4 being for grade 4 players and part 5 almost entirely lower register. This was written so that all my pupils in one school could join in, no matter what their standard, with the lower parts being doubled up. There is also a part for Jingles which adds a festive touch. Dasher and Dancer is also available for Clarinet Choir and for Wind Band

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PDF icon Moderate 3m 38s
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SINGLE REED
A Winter's Tale - Alun Cook
Single Reed Ensemble - for 3 Bb Clarinets, 2 Alto Saxophones and Bass Clarinet
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(3 Bb Cls, 2 Alto Sax and Bs Cl) - Soothing music to lull your children to sleep, but like all good stories there are moments of intrigue and suspense. This is the original scoring for 3 Bb Clarinets, 2 Alto Saxophones and Bass Clarinet although I have it in mind to add words as a Christmas carol. The individual parts are not hard but they are quite independent at times. Listen to the MP3 to hear a performance.

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PDF icon Moderate 4m 54s
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