Contrabass (Optional) part from In The Bleak Mid-Winter

Composer
Gustav T. Holst
Duration
2 minutes
Genre
Classical music

Gustav Holst's "In the Bleak Midwinter" (1905) is a hymn specifically composed for congregational singing. Throughout his career Holst advocated writing music for the masses, as well as for the musically astute; therefore, much of the composer's repertoire ? including hymns, music for military band, and numerous songs ? was written with the amateur musician in mind. Many of these "lighter" compositions have stood the test of time because even though they are made of relatively simple stuff, they still bear the mark of Holst's careful and loving craftsmanship.

Around the beginning of 1905, a group of clergymen created a committee with the purpose of updating the hymn book called Hymns Ancient and Modern. This hymnal was considered to be old-fashioned, so new hymns were to be added. Percy Dearmer, a fellow clergyman and professor of Ecclesiastical Art at King's College in London, was named chairman of this committee. Ralph Vaughan Williams was decided upon to be the music editor, whose task was to make all final decisions on which hymns would be added. Vaughan Williams was skeptical of this duty, but accepted the post upon being promised that the work required would only take two months. In actuality, the project wasn't completed until two years later. With Holst aiding in the editing process, Vaughan Williams looked to include "the finest hymn tunes in the world." Folk tunes and traditional songs would be added, as well as songs by earlier English composers, such as Thomas Tallis. English composers of the time were invited by Vaughan Williams to create new hymns for the updated hymnal. It was soon evident that the addendum would be comparable in size to the original hymnal, so it was decided that an entirely new hymn book would be produced, under the title of The English Hymnal. Holst composed three original hymns based on previously gathered folk tunes for this new volume. In the Bleak Midwinter is set to text by Christina Rossetti and the folk tune used is known as the "Crantham," named after the town in which it was collected. It is believed that Holst actually composed the hymn while staying in this village for a short amount of time, and a cottage in the village was eventually named Midwinter Cottage.

Another new hymnal was created in the mid-1920s, entitled Songs of Praise. Once again Dearmer and Vaughan Williams teamed up to manage the hymnal's creation. In the Bleak Midwinter was also included in this new hymn book, as well as a number of other Holst hymns. The hymn was one of Holst's most popular compositions during his lifetime and remains to be well known and often performed.

This arrangement is for standard string quartet, with an optional bginner's third violin part, and bass part for use with string orchestra.

Which method of viewing music should I use?

Score Exchange has two methods to display previews of music: seView which uses regular html and javascipt and the Scorch plug-in from Avid which needs to be downloaded and installed onto your computer. Both have advantages and disadvantages:

seView

seView, is the most compatible option. You should be able to view music on all modern web browsers including most mobile devices. Even if your device does not support javascript you should still be able to preview at least page one of the music.

You do not need to install any additional software to use seView.

Scorch

Scorch is a free plug-in from Avid for displaying and printing music. It can also play the music that you're seeing. As modern web browsers are updated, Scorch is no longer compatible with many browsers. Scorch has never been compatible with mobile devices and some web browsers on Mac computers.

If your web browser does not install Scorch automatically, you can click here to download and install scorch manually.

cloud scorch goes here

Licensing for this music

This part was published on Score Exchange by Glynn Davies. When you buy it, you are granted a license that includes the following:

Sharing the file you download
When you buy the score - make multiple copies
When you buy parts - make multiple copies

For anything not permitted by the above licence then you should contact the publisher first to obtain permission.

In order to submit this part to ScoreExchange.com Glynn Davies has declared that they own the copyright to this work in its entirety or that they have been granted permission from the copyright holder to use their work. If you believe that this part should be not available here because it infringes your or someone elses copyright, please report this part using the copyright abuse form.