Title: What Child Is This $1.80
Performance Requirements: SATB chorus
Composer: Ben J. Legett
Difficulty (1-5): 4
Range: sop d1-f2, alto b - d2, tenor c - f, bass F - g
Rehearsal Guide: This challenging piece puts a traditional carol in a
whole new light. Changing the original 6/8 meter to 5/8 creates a
shifting, uncertain mood that underscores the element of awe in the title
question. There's a little bit of fear mixed in, as well. But when "This,
this is Christ the king" rolls around, all doubt is washed away with a bright
ninth chord on E-flat.
Rehearse the men first, at least through measure 24, before adding the
altos. Make the sopranos sit and listen to all this while they unconsciously
absorb the 5/8 meter. That will make it a little easier to sing the familiar
tune in an unfamiliar meter when their turn comes.
For the section beginning at measure 25, take the altos and basses first,
since they have similar rhythms. Then work the basses and tenors.
Finally, add the sopranos. The refrain that follows is a repeat of the
By now, the sopranos should have a handle on their 5/8 melody, so begin
rehearsal on the last verse (m 44) with the altos, tenors, and basses,
working their pitches.
The final refrain is different from the others and will take a little bit of
work regarding note values and rhythms, particularly the hocket in m 56.
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