Carol of the Bells (Shchedryk) – cover by Alexandra Zerner – Behind the Scenes

Here come the holidays again and this year I decided to do something, that I intended for a long time. I guess you’re familiar with the piece, named “Carol of the Bells” and maybe some of you were singing it around Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Well, this piece has an interesting story, that I decided to share with you, before I show you my cover:

“Shchedryk” (from Ukrainian: Щедрий вечiр, “Bountiful Evening”) is a Ukrainian “shchedrivka”, or New Year’s carol. It was arranged by composer and teacher Mykola Leontovych in 1916, and tells a story of a swallow flying into a household to sing of wealth that will come with the following spring. “Shchedryk” was originally sung on the night of January 13, New Year’s Eve in the Julian Calendar (December 31 Old Style), which is “Shchedry Vechir”. Early performances of the piece were made by students at Kyiv University.

“Shchedryk” was later adapted as an English Christmas carol, “Carol of the Bells”, by Peter J. Wilhousky following a performance of the original song by Alexander Koshetz’s Ukrainian National Chorus at Carnegie Hall on October 5, 1921. Wilhousky copyrighted and published his new lyrics (which were not based on the Ukrainian lyrics) in 1936, and the song became popular in the United States, where it became strongly associated with Christmas. (Wikipedia)

Now, when you know the story, I want to add, that I used the arrangement, that Mykola Leontovych did, but transposed it in Dm, because it sounded better on guitar (the original key is Gm). So… enough talking… here’s my cover.

Enjoy, subscribe and share! 🙂

WeeklyckZ #34

This week in “WeeklyckZ” I decided to show you a four arpeggio sequence, based on Gm, Gm#7, Gm7, and Gm6 chords. Played slow, it may sound a bit weird to you, but in the original tempo it’s pretty useful, if you want to spice up your solos.

Enjoy, subscribe and share! 🙂