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The Oxford Book of Carols: Music edition Paperback – March 21, 1985

ISBN-13: 978-0193533158 ISBN-10: 0193533154 Edition: Music Ed

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 476 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; Music Ed edition (March 21, 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0193533154
  • ISBN-13: 978-0193533158
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.9 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #686,793 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

In the fifty years since his death, Vaughan Williams has come to be regarded as one of the finest British composers of the 20th century. He has a particularly wide-ranging catalogue of works, including choral works, symphonies, concerti, and opera. His searching and visionary imagination, combined with a flexibility in writing for all levels of music-making, has meant that his music is as popular today as it ever has been.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 11 customer reviews
The print is clear and the editing is very good.
classicalgeek
The arrangements are in four-part harmony and certainly very singable and playable by the average singer or pianist.
George Peabody
I love this comprehensive, informative and well-made book of carols, many with alternative music and words.
Mr. T. Forber

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 10, 1999
Format: Paperback
Perfect for madrigal or four-part singing, this book contains many familiar carols, and some that are less familiar, including Easter and Harvest carols. I became familiar with this book when we used it as a backbone for our Christmas Caroling group several years ago, it was fun to sing from, and the music was enjoyed by the listeners.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By S. Wonnacott on September 20, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book is an excellent read. The depth of the historical research and wealth of fascinating information on the development and use of the carols is invaluable.

This book would be worth the purchase if it did not contain any music at all. As it is, the collecting of carols for this book had saved many pieces from being lost forever.

The musical arrangements are very singable and allow the words to shine through wonderfully. Some are challenging others are simple. All are thoroughly enjoyable.

The carols and text are a true part of the folk history of northern Europe.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By George Peabody VINE VOICE on November 18, 2011
Format: Paperback
"THE OXFORD BOOK OF CAROLS" IS THE MOST FAMOUS AND THE MOST COMPLETE OF ALL CAROL COLLECTIONS."
It contains 197 carols, most of which are for the Christmas season, but some are for Passiontide or Easter, or for other seasons of the year. All but thirty have traditional carol tunes, mostly with traditional carol texts. The remainder have music by 19th-or 20th-century composers, including such famous carols as Holst's 'In the Bleak Midwinter' and 'Lullay my liking', Cornelius's 'Three Kings from Persian lands afar' and Tchaikovsky's 'The Crown of Roses'(one of my personal favorites).

Percy Dearmer edited the words and Martin Shaw and Ralph Vaughan Williams the music. Vaughan Williams also composed four carols and collected a number of folk carols.

Carols are songs with a religious impulse that are simple, hilarious, popular and modern. But there is considerable variance among them; some are narrative, some dramatic, some personal and a few are secular. The typical carol expresses common emotions of ordinary people in language that can be understood with music that is shared by all. The tunes in this book are real carol tunes set to appropriate harmony, preserving the freshness and buoyancy of the true carol.

There are five parts in this book that I now list for your convenience: PART ONE: Traditional Carols with tunes proper to them; Nos 1-72 English, Welsh and Irish - Nos 73-113 foreign carols with word translations. PART TWO: Traditional carol tunes set to other traditional or old texts nos 114-132. PART THREE: Modern texts written for or adapted to traditional tunes nos 133-167. PART FOUR: Traditional carols set to tunes by modern composers nos 168-185. PART FIVE: Carols by modern writers and composers nos 186-197.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mr. T. Forber on January 11, 2007
Format: Paperback
I love this comprehensive, informative and well-made book of carols, many with alternative music and words. As a pianist I personally prefer A4 size to A5. However this is largely overcome by the quality of both the paper, print and binding.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is the book I've been wanting for a long time and it is in excellent condition. However, it is a much smaller version than what i expected - possibly a choral member's edition, not the director's edition. The New Oxford Book, which I ordered at the same time IS the director's edition - larger print and more write-ups with each carol. Maybe the older book didn't come that way.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sierra Bob on January 27, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a total classic - edited and collected by three world class musician/composer/liturgist people. If you can not find a suitable carol in here, it is likely because you have not looked close enough - If a carol isn't in here, it's probably not worth having. I use this frequently in planning from Advent through Epiphany, and enjoy simply looking at (and poorly playing) carols not seen by me previously. A must have book for church musicians and musical scholars, as well as anyone who (like me) loves Christmas Carols.
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