What better time to premiere a new arrangement than on Christmas Eve just before the stroke of midnight? Indeed, last night saw the unveiling of an arrangement of “The First Nowell” for solo, guitar, strings and piano.
It’s been something I’ve been meaning to do for a long time. “The First Nowell” is a classic folk tune, but the arrangement in most hymnals fetters the flowing melody with four part harmony. People, homophony is not the right solution for every song! But enough ranting. My approach was simple: let the melody sing itself and support it with an accompaniment that keeps things moving forward. After a brief string intro, I start small–just guitar and solo voice–and then build momentum over the song’s 6 verses. Take a listen to the MP3 from last night, then email for a score so you can premiere it in your town next Christmas.