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Coventry Carol – Brass Quintet


Coventry Carol is an English carol written in the 16th century. The earliest known manuscript was from 1534. In those times there were local pageants, called “mystery plays,” in which the common folk performed dramatized stories from the Bible. This carol was part of the Pageant of the Shearmen and Taylors held in Coventry. It is the emotional climax of this long play and its plaintive melody is most effective.

This poignant carol is known for the use of the Picardy third, which adds a major chord at the cadence in a piece that is minor or modal.

Excerpt recorded by the Sine Nomine Brass Quintet.

Composer: Anne McGinty
Instrumentation: 2 Bb Trumpets, F Horn, Trombone & Tuba
Duration/# of Pages: ca. 2:10 / 11 pages, 8.5″ x 11″
Key: G min

Score & Parts $21.00