Info About Some Music Pieces

February 5, 2011
“Ukrainian Bell Carol”


Mykola Dmytrovych Leontovych was born December 13, 1877 and died on January 23, 1921. As a child, Leontovych grew up with music and became very talented with string instruments. With his love for music, he became a Ukrainian composer, choral conductor, and teacher of international renown. In 1916 the popularity of his song “Schedryk” (know to the English language as “Ukrainian Bell Carol” or “Carol of the bells”) established him as the most popular Ukrainian composer of his time. I hope you will enjoy the song that made Leontovych famous around the world.


“Dervish Dance”


The shouting and dancing of the religious group called Surfis is captured in “Dervish Dance” composed by Elliot Del Bargo. Elliot Del Borgo was born on October 27, 1938 in Port Chester, New York. Currently Mr. Brogo is an American composer who composes music for bands, strings, and has composed countless percussion pieces. One of his greatest achievements was composing music for the Closing Ceremonies of the 1980 Winter Olympics. “Dervish Dance” is fast moving exciting piece that hopefully causes you to feel and imagine the Surfis dancing and celebrating spirit.

“Holiday Funny Favorites”


“Holiday Funny Favorites” is a collection of many Christmas music pieces. Included in this collection is “Jingle Bells”. “Jingle Bells” is written by James Lord Pierpont (1822–1893) and was intended to be a Thanksgiving song though it is now more popularly know as a Christmas song.

The next song included in “Holiday Funny Favorites” is “Nuttin’ for Christmas” by Roy Bennett and Sid Tepper (both born in 1918). “Nuttin’ for Christmas” became a multi-million seller when a seven year old boy named Barry Gordon became the lead vocalist.

“I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” by John Rox (1902-1957) is also in “Holiday Funny Favorites”. The song became a nationwide hit in 1953 when ten-year-old Gayla Peevey sang the song as a way to raise money for the Oklahoma City Zoo's first hippopotamus which they later received for Christmas.

The last song in “Holiday Funny Favorites” is “Grandma Got Ran Over by a Reindeer”. Composed by Randy Brooks (1936- ) “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” was recorded by the then husband-and-wife duo called Elmo and Patsy and was on the national top songs chart. This is one of my favorite pieces because of the variety of holiday pieces intertwined in this one selection. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I have.

“Opinion Paragraph”


Each piece has its pros and cons, but never the less I enjoy them all. With the challenges each piece presented there were also opportunities to learn and grow as musicians. “Ukrainian Bell Carol”, I thought, had the easiest rhythms and notes, but the articulations and tempo made it more difficult to play. However, in my opinion it is the articulation and tempo required of the piece that adds to its overall quality and enjoyability. Most of the trouble I encountered with “Dervish Dance” was simply learning when to come in. The simplicity of the repeated melody allowed me to direct more of my focus on dynamics. In “Holiday Funny Favorites” it is critical to count. Counting is where most of my problems stemmed from, as there are so many entries that come on the offbeat. I particularly enjoyed all the trills in this piece because we have only had a limited number of pieces that incorporate trills in the music.





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