O Sing a Song of Bethlehem







Laurie Williams’s melody for O Sing a Song of Bethlehem, in various arrangements

Text 1889 by Louis F Benson, 1855-1930.

Music is Benson’s Songs, by Laurie Williams, 1990/2013, with harmonies and arrangements 2013/2014, for The Old Scholars’ Choir.

It is based on Sicut Cervus, by G P da Palestrina, c 1525-1594.

This PDF file of Sicut Cervus from the Choral Public Domain Library is free to use and share. The tenor part at bar 21 gives the most obvious hint of the derivation.

Many audio recordings of Sicut Cervus are available. The informal video recording by Ensemble DEUM is highly recommended.

Four versions:

three with keyboard accompaniment – unison, SSA (or SS or SA) and SATB;

SATB, to be sung unaccompanied or with the voice parts played as accompaniment.

The keyboard accompaniment can work on pipe organ if well articulated and not too fast for instrument or acoustic.

The SATB version can work well as a congregational hymn.

Various instruments including string, wind and percussion may be added as appropriate.

See the performance guide notes in the individual score files.

Arrangements for various combinations of instruments, with separate parts, will be available later.

This music is not licensed for use with any other text.

Melody, harmonies and arrangements © Laurie Williams 1990/2013/2014, 2014.
Layouts © Laurie Williams 2014


1  –  unison chorus with keyboard accompaniment

For treble chorus, or tenor or mixed chorus if accompaniment is sufficiently strong.

May then be sung by treble chorus in some sections, tenor chorus in some, both in others.

Some or all may be sung by solo treble, solo tenor or both as duet.


version 2014-12-01

4 pages


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A4 page 1

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A4 page 4

O-Sing-a-Song-of-Bethlehem-Laurie-Williams-1990,-2014-unison-voices-and-keyboard-A4-lauriewilliamsmusic-20141201-sample-page-4

Letter page 1

O-Sing-a-Song-of-Bethlehem-Laurie-Williams-1990,-2014-unison-voices-and-keyboard-Letter-lauriewilliamsmusic-20141201-sample-page-1

Letter page 4

O-Sing-a-Song-of-Bethlehem-Laurie-Williams-1990,-2014-unison-voices-and-keyboard-Letter-lauriewilliamsmusic-20141201-sample-page-4

sound




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A4


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2  –  SSA (or SS or SA) chorus with keyboard accompaniment

May be sung as SS or SA, omitting the alto part.

Some or all may be sung by SSA trio (or SS or SA duet).


version 2014-12-01

6 pages


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A4 page 1

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A4 page 6

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Letter page 1

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Letter page 6

O-Sing-a-Song-of-Bethlehem-Laurie-Williams-1990,-2014-SSA-and-keyboard-Letter-lauriewilliamsmusic-20141201-sample-page-6


sound – as SSA




sound – as SS or SA




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A4


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3  –  SATB chorus with keyboard accompaniment

A small proportion of tenors may be added to the melody line at appropriate times if support from accompaniment or other voices is strong, particularly in bass.

Treble or tenor solo or small subgroup may sing the words and melody for parts of some verses, a whole verse or a mixture, with other choir parts singing the words or slightly open hum as appropriate.

Some or all may be sung by SATB quartet.

The bass line is unlike that of a standard hymn tune bass line in which most or all syllables are sung in time with the other parts. Bass voices must therefore be precise and strong. They may sing simple vocal sounds instead of the words.


version 2014-12-01

1 page


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A4 page 1

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A4 page 6

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Letter page 1

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Letter page 6

O-Sing-a-Song-of-Bethlehem-Laurie-Williams-1990,-2014-SATB-and-keyboard-Letter-lauriewilliamsmusic-20141201-sample-page-6

sound




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A4


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4  –  SATB

To be sung unaccompanied or with the voice parts played as accompaniment by piano, organ and or or other instruments.

A proportion of tenors may be added to the melody line at appropriate times if support from other voices or accompaniment is strong, particularly in bass.

Treble or tenor solo or small subgroup may sing the words and melody for parts of some verses, a whole verse or a mixture, with other choir parts singing the words or slightly open hum as appropriate.

Some or all may be sung by SATB quartet.

The bass line is unlike that of a standard hymn tune bass line in which most or all syllables are sung in time with the other parts. Bass voices must therefore be precise and strong. They may sing simple vocal sounds instead of the words.

May be sung in unison with sufficiently strong accompaniment.

This is the version to use as a congregational hymn, including in large acoustics.


version 2014-12-01

4 pages


free samples

Low resolution GIF image samples for free download and evaluation.

(Purchased items are high quality PDF.)

Read our Guide section on samples before you download a sample.

A4 page 1

O-Sing-a-Song-of-Bethlehem-Laurie-Williams-1990,-2014-SATB-A4-lauriewilliamsmusic-20141201-sample-page-1

A4 page 4

O-Sing-a-Song-of-Bethlehem-Laurie-Williams-1990,-2014-SATB-A4-lauriewilliamsmusic-20141201-sample-page-4

Letter page 1

O-Sing-a-Song-of-Bethlehem-Laurie-Williams-1990,-2014-SATB-Letter-lauriewilliamsmusic-20141201-sample-page-1

Letter page 4

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sound




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A4


Letter





O Come, O Come Emmanuel

O Valiant Hearts


Laurie Williams’s compositions


© Laurie Williams Music, Adelaide, South Australia, 2014, 2015