Open Mic Adventures XIV: “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”

The title of this week’s piece is a bit of a misnomer:  it’s not from an open mic night, but from a morning church service.  There’s also no singing—at least, not from me!  I’m just tickling the ivories.  *Tickle, tickle!*

The piece here is one of my favorite Christmas carols, “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.”  We did sing it for morning service this past Sunday, 27 November 2022 at my little country church, but I was warming up and having a bit of cheeky fun beforehand.

It’s not my best playing, but I had fun with it.  I sent it to the writer behind the blog ShellWritten, a friend of mine from a fiction workshop class in college.  We’ve recently reconnected, and discussed our mutual love of hymns, so I sent her the video.  She approved with three “clapping hand” emojis, so it can’t be all bad.

I love how the “With angelic hosts proclaim” section moves to A minor (the minor ii chord in the key of G, the key in which I am playing the song), providing some dramatic and musical contrast.

Musically, the melody comes from Romantic composer Felix Mendelssohn.  A British musician, William Cummings, adapted the tune from Mendelssohn’s Festgesang, itself a cantata written in 1840 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the invention of Johannes Gutenberg’s printing press.

Other than a few flubbed notes, I can’t help but notice a few extra pounds of flubbing on yours portly.  That waddling double chin needs some serious attention after the holidays.

Happy Listening!

—TPP

Other Editions of Open Mic Adventures:

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