5048 12 Days of Christmas
arranged for Brass Quintet
by Roger Harvey
Programme note:The 12 Days of Christmas has an interesting history. Though its origins were undoubtedly earlier, possibly in NE England, it was first published in 1780 in a collection entitled Mirth Without Mischief. It was popular as a sort of memory game in which participants attempted to repeat the lines without error, and in one version - in one breath, or recieve a penalty. There are numerous versions which differ in terms of the gifts and the number of days on which they were received. Frederic Austin published his version, including his own line for 5 gold rings, in 1908 and this has become the standard version though it has become a target for many adaptions, serious and comic. The cost of the gifts has even acted as pointer for economists in producing a light-hearted, annual price index. John Rutter's version for mixed chorus was published in 1970 and this arrangement for brass quintet is a transcription of this.
Performance note:This version can be played as a stand alone quintet item or used to accompany the melody line or Rutter's mixed voice chorus version. The percussion is optional.