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Carols for Choirs

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Title: Carols for Choirs  
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Subject: David Willcocks, God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen, Ding Dong Merrily on High, Resonet in laudibus, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
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Carols for Choirs

Carols for Choirs, published by Oxford University Press, edited by Sir David Willcocks with Reginald Jacques and John Rutter, is the most widely used source of carols (predominantly Christmas carols, though some are for other festivals) in the British Anglican tradition, and among British choral societies.[1][2][3][4]

Christopher Morris, the organist and publisher, originally launched the book Carols For Choirs.

There are four books in the original series and a portmanteau book published later.[5] They contain the most commonly performed carols and their harmony arrangements, with descants from the editors (mainly Willcocks) which have become the de facto standard descants for these tunes in the Anglican communion in the UK. Choir singers usually refer to the books by the colours of their covers, with the "green" and "orange" books (volumes 1 and 2) being the most widely used. The "blue" book (volume 3) contains a number of longer anthems,[3] and the "red" book features fifty carols arranged for sopranos and altos.[4] Most of the arrangements were originally written for use by the choir of King's College Cambridge or the Bach Choir in London.

The publisher, Oxford University Press, later expanded the series with volumes appropriate for other church seasons,[6] e.g. Advent for Choirs[7] and Epiphany to All Saints for Choirs.[8]

In July 2011, Oxford University Press published the fifth incarnation of the original series, Carols for Choirs 5, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the publication of the first volume.

See also


  1. ^  
  2. ^  
  3. ^ a b  
  4. ^ a b  
  5. ^  
  6. ^ ". . . for Choirs Collections". Choral Series.  
  7. ^  
  8. ^  

External links

  • OUP: Carols for Choirs
  • Obituary of Christopher Morris, the organist and publisher who launched the book Carols For Choirs.
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