Play the Holiday Classic "Hark the Herald Angels Sing"

by Sean McGowan

The themes of “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” are typical of holiday classics: joyousness, renewal, peace, salvation, and an enigmatic recounting of the presence of angels and the birth of Christ. In this arrangement, I sought to create an ethereal modern chorale for solo guitar, emphasizing a modal approach to the melody and avoiding typical triad-centered harmonization. The D A D G A D tuning invites a tonal palette of voicings stacked in fourths (as opposed to thirds) and the inclusion of half-step clusters, which are present as early as the first measure.

Hark the Herald Angels 14BARS
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The tempo is slow, gentle, and deliberate, allowing the lyrical nature of the melody to shine above the chord voicings. The first phrase of the song’s melody is excerpted here.

Excerpted from Holiday Songs for Fingerstyle Guitar

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