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Carols of Christmas
Printed Music Book
(7 Reviews)
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The Carols of Christmas songbook is the companion sheet music book to David Hicken’s incredible 2013 recording by the same name. All twelve pieces from the CD are included, transcribed by Hicken himself (and proofed/edited by me) exactly the way he played them on the recording. This is a fantastic collection for the more advanced pianist, but is not so challenging as to feel impossible. Hicken’s arrangement of “The Bell Carol” (“Carol of the Bells”) is the best I’ve ever heard, and that one will take some work because of the speed, but what a blast to play! I actually played the sheet music draft before hearing the recording, and about halfway through the piece just stopped and said “Wow!!!” This one gets the adrenaline flowing bigtime! “Adeste Fideles/ O Come All Ye Faithful” is the other piece that requires some pretty serious chops, but it’s a great arrangement and huge fun to play - all of the songs are! “The Holly and the Ivy” is probably the easiest of the twelve pieces, followed by “Away In a Manger” and “The First Nowell.”

The book itself is printed in the 12”x16” format on bright white paper. The pages are stapled and stay open on the piano very well. The notation is crisp, easy to read and roomy with expression clearly marked. Most of the timing is very straight-forward and there are very few reaches of more than an octave. This book is truly a joy to play, and I give it my highest recommendation (along with the CD!). It is available from davidhicken.com and Amazon.

The song titles, what keys they are in, and the number of pages are:

The Bell Carol - key of E minor (1 sharp)/ B minor (2 sharps)/ A minor (0 sharps or flats) - 7 pages
In the Bleak Midwinter - key of F (1 flat)/ G (1 sharp) - 3 pages
What Child Is This? - We Three Kings - key of E minor/ A minor - 5 pages
Adeste Fideles / O Come All Ye Faithful - Key of G/ Ab (4 flats) - 5 pages
The Holly and the Ivy - key of G/Ab - 4 pages
Christmas In Tettenhall - key of E (4 sharps)/ F# (6 sharps) - 5 pages
Once in Royal David’s City - key of F/Gb (6 flats)/G - 4 pages
Silent Night - key of Bb (2 flats)/B (5 sharps) - 4 pages
The First Nowell - key of D (2 sharps)/E/G/A (3 sharps) - 4 pages
O Christmas Tree - key of G/ Ab - 4 pages
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing - key of F/G - 5 pages
Away In a Manger - key of F/G - 3 pages
— March 10, 2017 by Kathy Parsons (Oregon)
7 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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Great Collection!
I was looking for some good Christmas arrangements and loved everything in this book! By far my most played stuff this year.
— January 17, 2017 by Julie Ward (Utah)
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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A very attractive collection
This is a most attractive collection of pieces, mostly based on well-known carols. The carols are treated imaginatively, without being over-elaborate or "avant garde". As a result, they are easy on the ear, and very approachable for the listener.

For the performer, most are accessible to a pianist at intermediate level (though the "Bell Carol" is more challenging, on account of the fast tempo). They are clearly written by a pianist, as the music "fits under the fingers" very readily.

A welcome addition to the repertory of Christmas piano music. I am sure I shall make a lot of use of this collection for many years to come.
— January 10, 2017 by John C (Wolverhampton, United Kingdom)
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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Great Christmas Arrangements!
This Christmas book had some very wonderful arrangements of some of my favorite Christmas carols. Each song has a unique sound to it, of which I thoroughly enjoyed. I especially enjoyed "The Bell Carol" since it is difficult to find a nice arrangement of "Carol of the Bells". These songs also posed a slight challenge to me as a piano player and gave me the opportunity to really dig into a piece to perform. The book is spiral-bound, which is very nice for any piano player, and the book arrived at my home very quickly. I was very impressed with the service I received when ordering my book and would not hesitate to purchase music from David Hicken again!
— December 16, 2016 by Kendra (Hills, MN)
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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This is a wonderful book of Christmas Carols. It is just what I've been looking for but never able to quite find - Christmas music that maintains the actual sound of the song, very clearly, while adding variances and nuances that enhance rather than cover the melody of the carol. I simply love this book!! I recommend just getting the whole volume, as nearly every single one of them is delightful to play. The way David uses patterns really helps in the learning of them, and you find yourself almost immediately able to play and hear a beautiful piece unfolding - (and my sight reading is not perfect) which is an absolute delight. I only wish I'd found this years ago! Thank you David for this wonderful addition to our holidays, it is much treasured and I am adoring playing them.
— December 8, 2016 by Britt (Scottsdale, Arizona)
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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These arrangements are exactly what I was looking for this Christmas season. They are simply gorgeous! They walk that fine line of sounding amazing without distracting from the meaning of the lyrics. They're not too hard either-just hard enough that they're fun to practice. The book seems to be well made as well. I like the spiral binding!
— November 28, 2016 by Stacey (Farmington, UT)
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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Much Better than expected
I was a little unsure when ordering this book since I am an late intermediate player. I was worried that it would be to difficult for me. I was so excited to get it and sit down and plunk out the songs. I was pleasantly surprised! Although I can't play them perfectly, I can play them! I love that the songs sound much more advanced than they are. Some will require more work than others but most i would say are in the intermediate range. I would not recommend this book to anyone who isn't in the early intermediate range of playing. I am definitely looking forward to playing more of David Hicken's music and I will be recommending his music to my piano playing friends!
— October 21, 2016 by Brooke (Nampa, Idaho)
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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