Bart Marantz NPR/KERA Jazz Education Interview
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Composed By: Author Unknown - German Folk Song - Arranged By: Kevin J. McElrath Instrumentation: Big Band
Publisher: KJOS Neil A. Kjos Music Company
Grade 3 Medium swing Tempo = 104 $40.00
This arrangement of the classic Christmas carol, inspired by the Count Basie ballads of the late 1950s and 1960s, should be played in a medium-swing style similar to the of the Basie recording “Li’l Darlin.”
This music of “O Tannenbaum” (a.k.a. “ Oh Christmas tree”) dates back as far as the 16th century and has been associated with varying sets of words through its history. The music appears to have originally accompanied a German folk song that contrasted the faithful bloom of a fir tree with the unsteadiness of a fickle love. This song eventually evolved into the popular Christmas carol as it is known today that honors fir tree’s consistency and its resultant exemplification of hope, love and faithfulness. O Tannenbaum was first published in Berlin in 1820, and the traditional melody upon which it was based is also widely known for providing the foundation for Maryland, My Maryland, the state song that initially arose 40 years later during the early Civil War era.
With solo space for tenor sax, which can be opened up for other instrumentalists and a well written shout chorus at letter 64 this chart becomes a very attractive educational arrangement. “ O Tannenbaum” is well written and would be a winner at the late fall jazz concert bringing everyone who hears it into a very swinging holiday spirit.
Top note for trumpet Bb above the staff