Listen to a recording of Masters in the Hall by Stephen Dunstone.
MUSIC SAMPLE - View Masters in the Hall by Stephen Dunstone.
Suitable For : Lever / Pedal Harp
Genre : Contemporary Harp Ensemble
Ability Level : Easy - Intermediate
Format : PDF as a Zipped File Download
As of the end of September 2016, that infallible source of information, Wikipedia, says
of this carol "The carol is moderately popular around the world, but has not entered the
canon of most popular carolsĒ. Well letís change that, because, honestly, the music is
just brilliant, and it definitely is one of my all-time favourites - which is why I
included it in Harpo Christmas Carols Book 1 and why itís one of the first batch of six
that Iíve turned into ensembles.
Itís not sickly sweet or schmaltzily pious, itís not bombastic and triumphant (although
Iím partial to a bit of schmaltz and bombast at Christmas too), but thereís something
irresistible about it. Whatís shameful is that the music is frequently uncredited, often
given as "Traditional FrenchĒ or "Old French melodyĒ, when in fact it was written by
the genius Marin Marais (watch the "biographicalĒ film about him Tous les Matins du
Monde to hear more viol music by him and his teacher Sainte-Colombe).
It can be tempting to get carried away with the somewhat rollicking 6/8 melody and
play it too fast, but I think itís much more effective if you keep it at the speed Iíve
suggested, letting that bass line walk you almost stealthily forward. Anyway, if you do
take it too fast, youíll come very unstuck in verses 2 and 3, where the "Counter-weaveĒ
and Descant need some fairly precise handling (and a certain amount of nifty leverchanging).
So, in the absence of any other appropriate Italian musical terms, Iíve
invented one: Rollickoso moderato...
Youíll see that I havenít put any dynamics in the score or parts. This isnít an oversight
or laziness: I genuinely feel there are so many different ways to help this piece dance
that I honestly donít think I should be dictating what you ought to do. Just let the
music enter your soul and youíll know whatís the right thing for you.