Carol: The Seven Joys of Mary

For: Choir
page one of Carol: The Seven Joys of Mary

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Carol: The Seven Joys of Mary


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Year of composition
Rev. Henry Ramsden Bramley (1871)
Difficult (Grades 7+)
6 minutes
Classical music
License details
For anything not permitted by the above licence then you should contact the publisher first to obtain permission.

The number seven is featured in the music. The seven verses move through a cycle of the seven modes of the diatonic scale. The melodic line of each verse is sung by a different voice section of the choir. The second line of each verse is repeated by a soloist from the same section. This is followed by each of the soloists of the previous verses singing the number of their 'joy' in reverse order, forming a sort of canon. Each 'joy' is thus sung by the seven soloists building up into a larger ensemble in each verse. The refrain also features a different voice section on each repetition. The carol is largely in 7/8, which gives a more modern twist to the concept of a carol based on dance rhythms. Here we have a slightly distorted jig.

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