Violoncello from Once in Royal David's City

Composer
Henry J. Gauntlett
Duration
2 minutes
Genre
Classical music

The text for this joy-filled Christmas carol was written by Cecil Frances Alexander (1818-1895), who was the wife of the Bishop of Londonderry, and it was originally published in her collection, Hymns for Little Children, of 1848. The melody that set the words subsequently appeared in a volume entitled Christmas Carols published in the following year.

Usually performed in the key of G major, the melody describes a slow climb upward for each two lines (from the dominant note, D, to the octave higher) with the highest peak reached in an arpeggio on the tonic chord, G major, followed by a scalewise descent to the tonic note. The last two lines begin on the higher E note, emphasizing the names of Mary and Jesus in the first verse. A beautiful touch is added by the passing tones in the inner voices on the concluding line of each verse.

There are two harmonizations, each in four-part choral writing, for this tune. The first is the original by Gauntlett in which the first two lines occur all within the G major scale with no alterations. The second set of two lines repeats the first set except for a fleeting modulation in the second measure (VII, V, I in the dominant key) which provides a pleasant yet brief change in the atmosphere. The fifth line is stated in even chords with the last melody tone suspended on the third of the scale. The sixth line is, as stated above, elaborated with passing tones and ends by cadencing on the tonic.

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

This part was submitted by Glynn Davies. If you wish to perform, record, or broadcast this music then you should contact them first.

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.