SD1047: Masters in this Hall

Christmas Carols for Harp Ensemble
Masters in this Hall
Marin Marais (1656-1728)
arranged for harp Stephen Dunstone

Cover imageMasters in this Hall
Arranged for - 4-part harp ensemble
Level - Mixed Ability

Please click the "About this work & Performance Notes" heading below for further details

This book is supplied as a score and set of 4 parts


Buy this music now £10.00 +p&p

Artist Profile and catalogue of works - Stephen Dunstone

Audio Sample

About this work & Performance Notes

Masters in this Hall

The four parts are:-

Melody & Descant
Harmony 1
Harmony 2


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 carols”. Well let’s 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 it’s one of the first batch of six that I’ve turned into ensembles.

It’s not sickly sweet or schmaltzily pious, it’s not bombastic and triumphant (although I’m partial to a bit of schmaltz and bombast at Christmas too), but there’s something irresistible about it. What’s shameful is that the music is frequently uncredited, often given as “Traditional French” or “Old French melody”, when in fact it was written by the genius Marin Marais (watch the “biographical” 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 it’s much more effective if you keep it at the speed I’ve suggested, letting that bass line walk you almost stealthily forward. Anyway, if you do take it too fast, you’ll come very unstuck in verses 2 and 3, where the “Counter-weave” 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, I’ve invented one: Rollickoso moderato...

You’ll see that I haven’t put any dynamics in the score or parts. This isn’t an oversight or laziness: I genuinely feel there are so many different ways to help this piece dance that I honestly don’t think I should be dictating what you ought to do. Just let the music enter your soul and you’ll know what’s the right thing for you.

Library Information

Title: Masters in this Hall
Composer: Marin Marais
Arranger: Stephen Dunstone
Instrumentation: 4 Lever or Pedal Harps
Level: Mixed Ability
Format: A4 stapled score and set of 4 A4 parts
Weight: 140gm
ISMN: 979-0-57046-286-5
Our Ref: SD1047
Publisher: Creighton's Collection
Printer/Distributor: Creighton's Collection
Edition/Year: 2018
Origin: UK

Sample Pages

Sample Page