2:3 Polyrhythm in ‘Carol of the Bells’

Carol of the Bells

  • Popular Christmas carol composed by Ukrainian composer Mykola Leontovych in 1914 (lyrics by Peter J. Wilhousky). 
    • Lyrics are copyrighted, original musical composition is not.
  • Based on Ukrainian folk chant called “Shchedryk” whose language was thought to have magical properties.
    • Traditional Ukrainian text used hemiola in the rhythm (alternating the accents within each measure from 3/4 to 6/8 and back again).

Hemiola_0001

    • Chant based on an ostinato four-note pattern within the range of a minor third is thought to be of prehistoric origins and was associated with the coming New Year in Ukraine

Carol of the Bells Hemiola Motif_0001

 

              |1 . 7 1 6 . |     do .  ti do la .
       2:     |1 . . 1 . . |     do .  .  do .  .  
       3:     |. . 7 . 6 . |     do .  ti .  la .

'Carol of the Bells' Exercises

   8 . . 8 . .    (do. . do. . )Carol of the Bells Ex a_0001
   8 . 7 . 6 .    (do. ti. la. )

   8 . . 5 . .    (do. . so. . ) 
   8 . 7 . 6 .    (do. ti. la. )

   8 . . 5 . . 
   3 . 2 . 1 .    (mi. re. do. )
   8 . 7 . 6 .

   8 . . 5 . . 
   3 . 2 . 1 2    (mi. re. dore)
   8 . 7 . 6 5    (do. ti. laso)

   1 . . 5 . .|1 . . 5 . .
   3 . 2 . 1 .|7 . 6 . 5 4     (mi. re. do.|ti. la. sofa)
   8 . 7 . 6 .|5 . 4 . 3 2     (do. ti. la.|so. fa. mere)

Carol of the Bells Exercises_0001

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