Sheet music for Voice

"Come, Sweet Death, Come Blessed Rest" (BWV 478) for Organ and Choir

5 parts5 pages08:226 years ago17,722 views
Voice(4), Organ
"Come, Sweet Death, Come Blessed Rest" (Komm, süßer Tod, komm selge Ruh) was originally written by Johann Sebastian Bach for solo voice and basso continuo from the 69 Sacred Songs and Arias that he contributed to Georg Christian Schemelli's Musicalisches Gesangbuch (Schemelli Gesangbuch No. 868 -- BWV 478) edited by Georg Christian Schemelli in 1736.

Source: Wikipedia (,_s%C3%BC%C3%9Fer_Tod,_komm_selge_Ruh).

For most of these sacred songs, Bach had only to devise bass lines and figured bass indications -- the melodies selected were old and famous Lutheran tunes. Komm, süßer Tod, however, is an exception. The song has five verses, written around 1724 by some unknown poet, each of which begins which the text "Komm, süßer (süsser) Tod, komm selige Ruh" (Come, sweet death; come, blessed rest), and each of which is set to the same eight short phrases of triple-meter music. Its melody is known in no other source than the Schmelli Gesang-Buch, and it is generally believed that Bach wrote the piece from scratch. (There are two or three other entries in the Gesang-Buch that seem also to have been newly composed) .

Those familiar with ordinary German chorales will find themselves on familiar ground with Komm, süsser Tod, but its solo vocal line seems especially to exemplify Bach's supremely confident devotional side. Bach, by means of melody and harmony, expresses the desire for death and heaven.A beautiful orchestral version of this piece was made by Leopold Stokowski in 1946 (see VideoScore); it opens with all the strings muted except for a solo cello that "sings" the melody.

In my own inexperienced interpretation, the lyrics read more like a suicide note or death wish than other pieces from this time. It really seems to express the misery with things in the world and longing to end the suffering. Perhaps it was the loss of his beloved wife Maria Barbara Bach or the loss of many of his children. This piece touches me; sad to think of the suffering of a great master like this. One listener offered, "This is not a death wish in the way we normally think of it but the deep longing of a devout man of God desiring to be with his Savior. The music pulls forward and back just as the Apostle Paul was torn between the desire to be useful here on earth yet more to be with his Lord. In this piece the tension ebbs and flows until the final resolution gives full release."

I created this arrangement for Pipe Organ and created English lyrics for Choir (SATB).

"Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" (BWV 147 No. 10) for Piano, Organ & Choir

4 parts9 pages02:497 years ago16,070 views
Voice(2), Percussion(2)
Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben (Heart and mouth and deed and life), BWV 147, is a church cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach. It was written originally in Weimar in 1716 (BWV 147a) for Advent and expanded in 1723 for the feast of the Visitation in Leipzig, where it was first performed on 2 July 1723.

Bach composed the cantata in his first year as Thomaskantor in Leipzig for the Marian feast "Mariae Heimsuchung" (Visitation). The prescribed readings for the feast day were Isaiah 11:1–5, the prophecy of the Messiah, and from the Gospel of Luke, Luke 1:39–56, Mary's visit to Elizabeth, including her song of praise, the "Magnificat". He used as a base a cantata in six movements composed in Weimar for the fourth Sunday in Advent. As Leipzig observed tempus clausum (time of silence) from Advent II to Advent IV, Bach could not perform the cantata for that occasion and rewrote it for the feast of the Visitation. The original words were suitable for a feast celebrating Mary in general; more specific recitatives were added, the order of the arias changed, and the closing chorale was replaced and repeated on a different verse to expand the cantata to two parts. The words are verses 6 and 16 of the hymn "Jesu, meiner Seelen Wonne" (1661) by Martin Jahn (de).

The opening chorus renders the complete words in three section, the third one a reprise of the first one and even the middle section not different in character. An instrumental ritornello is heard in the beginning and in the end as well as, slightly changed, in all three sections with the choir woven into it. In great contrast all three sections conclude with a part accompanied only by basso continuo. Sections one and three begin with a fugue with colla parte instruments. The fugue subject stresses the word Leben (life) by a melisma extended over three measures. The soprano starts the theme, the alto enters just one measure later, tenor after two more measures, bass one measure later, the fast succession resulting in a lively music as a good image of life. In section three the pattern of entrances is the same, but building from the lowest voice to the highest.

The three recitatives are scored differently, the first accompanied by chords of the strings, the second by continuo, the third as an accompagnato of two oboes da caccia which add a continuous expressive motive, interrupted only when the child's leaping in the womb (in German: Hüpfen) is mentioned which they illustrate.

The three arias of the original cantata are scored for voice and solo instruments (3., 5.) or only continuo, whereas the last aria, speaking of the miracles of Jesus, is accompanied by the full orchestra.

The chorale movements 6 and 10, ending the two parts of the cantata, are the same music based on a melody by Johann Schop, "Werde munter, mein Gemüthe", a melody which Bach also used in his St Matthew Passion on the words "Bin ich gleich von dir gewichen" (movement 40). The simple four-part choral part is embedded in a setting of the full orchestra dominated by a motive in pastoral triplets derived from the first line of the chorale melody.

Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring is the most common English title of this movement of the cantata and is one of Bach's most enduring works.

Although the cantata was scored for four soloists and a four-part choir, a festive trumpet, two oboes (oboe d'amore, oboe da caccia), two violins, viola and basso continuo including bassoon, I created this arrangement for Piano, Organ and Choir (SATB).
"Hark! the Herald Angels Sing" for Piano, Organ, English Handbells and Choir

"Hark! the Herald Angels Sing" for Piano, Organ, English Handbells and Choir

9 parts13 pages03:347 years ago7,177 views
Voice(4), Percussion(2), Piano, Organ
"Hark! the Herald Angels Sing" music is from the second chorus of a cantata by Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) written in 1840 to commemorate Johann Gutenberg and the invention of printing. The words are from a hundred years earlier, written in 1739 by Charles Wesley whose brother, John, Wesley founded the Methodist Church.

My arrangement for Piano, Organ, English Handbells and Choir is an ensemble for piano, organ, English handbells and SATB choir arranged for the Sierra Vista United Methodist Church (SVUMC) from the United Methodist Church Hymnal #240.

I added English Handbells in order to add brilliance to this magnificent work. I arranged it into a full orchestral score, in modified keys of F and G Major.

The addition of English Handbells was not written to replace the piano and organ accompaniment. Rather, it adds color and brilliance to the fanfare – like sections of the score.

The full score, including the English Handbell part, is not necessary for performance. Conductors should simply mark English Handbell entrance cues in their score.

Care should be taken so that English Handbells are not overwhelmed by the accompanying piano and organ, especially the organ. I suggest that the manual stops be bright flutes or brass and strings (as noted in the “Organ Registration” section) with no doubling of pitches, with eight and sixteen foot pedal stops only. Four foot manual stops should be avoided.

This piece is best played using the "HandBells.sf2" SoundFont by FMJ Software.(

"Carol of the Bells" in G Minor for English Handbells and Choir

7 parts5 pages01:327 years ago12,756 views
Voice(4), Percussion(3)
"Carol of the Bells" is a choral miniature work composed by the Ukrainian Mykola Leontovych. Leontovych's composition, is characterised by the use of a four note motif as an ostinato figure throughout the work. This ostinato figure is an ancient pagan Ukrainian New Year's (originally celebrated in April) magical chant known in Ukrainian as "Shchedryk" [the Generous One]. I developed this arrangement of the "Carol of the Bells" to accentuates it's original composition using modern 5-Octave English Handbells, Handchimes and full choir (SATB).
"Riu, Riu, Chiu" (Nightingale's Sounds) for Choir (SATB)

"Riu, Riu, Chiu" (Nightingale's Sounds) for Choir (SATB)

4 parts3 pages01:567 years ago9,378 views
"Riu, Riu, Chiu" is a 16th Century Spanish villancico by an anonymous composer. The villancico is attributed by some sources to Mateo Flecha the Elder, who died in 1553. The villancico is verse, set to popular dance rhythms, depicting pastoral Nativity scenes with a country flavor (animals and shepherds).

This traditional Spanish Christmas carol in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary is of the type known as a 'villancico', dating from the 16th century. The song is a lesson in Catholic doctrine on the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady as well as the birth of Our Lord who came to redeem the world from the guilt of sin.

This arrangement for the Sierra Vista United Methodist Church (SVUMC) is to be sung by a lone male voice, with the main choir singing the chorus.

"The First Noël" for Organ and Choir (SATB)

5 parts3 pages04:417 years ago6,957 views
Voice(4), Organ
"The First Noël" is a traditional classical English carol, most likely from the 18th century, although possibly earlier.

The original version of The First Noel dates back to at least the 17th century. In 1823, William B. Sandys (1792-1874), and Davies Gilbert (1767-1839) edited and added lyrics to create the version we sing today. The origin of the current melody is uncertain.

This arrangement for the Sierra Vista United Methodist Church (SVUMC) highlights the range of the Choir and adds organ accompaniment.

"Ring, Christmas Bells" for Handbells, Handchimes & Choir (SATB)

7 parts4 pages01:324 years ago4,614 views
Voice(4), Piano(3)
"Carol of the Bells" is a choral miniature work composed by the Ukrainian Mykola Leontovych. Leontovych's composition, is characterised by the use of a four note motif as an ostinato figure throughout the work. This ostinato figure is an ancient pagan Ukrainian New Year's (originally celebrated in April) magical chant known in Ukrainian as "Shchedryk" [the Generous One]. I created this arrangement at the request of my friend Genevieve Kopping for Chorus (SATB), Handchimes & English Handbells using the non-secular lyrics by Minna Louise Hohman (1947). This arrangement of the "Carol of the Bells" uses modern 5-Octave English Handbells, Handchimes and full choir (SATB) and is best played using the "HandBells.sf2" Soundfont by FMJ Software (

The Trumpet Shall Sound (From Handel's "Messiah Oratorio" HWV 56, Part III, Scenes I and II)

14 parts51 pages05:472 years ago593 views
Voice, Trumpet(2), French Horn(2), Flute(2), Clarinet(2), Bassoon, Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, Tuba
All credit for writing "The Trumpet Shall Sound" goes to my friend, Mike Magatagan [GO CHECK HIS ACCOUNT OUT!]. I arranged the pitch and the Intro [Behold, I Shew You A Mysery].

"Away in a Manger" Ensemble for Piano, Organ & Choir

6 parts10 pages02:557 years ago3,135 views
Voice(4), Piano, Organ
The song was first published with two verses in an Evangelical Lutheran Sunday School collection, Little Children's Book for Schools and Families (1885), edited by James R. Murray (1841–1905), where it simply bore the title "Away in a Manger" and was set to a tune called "St. Kilda," credited to J.E. Clark.

I created this arrangement for the Sierra Vista United Methodist Church (SVUMC) for Choir (SATB) Piano & Organ.

"Ave Maria" based on a prelude by J.S. Bach for English Handbells, Piano & Choir (SATB)

7 parts18 pages02:197 years ago2,718 views
Voice(4), Percussion(2), Piano
Ave Maria based on a prelude by J.S. Bach written by French Romantic composer Charles Gounod in 1859 as the "Consideration on Bach's prelude". His Ave Maria consists of a melody superimposed over the Prelude No. 1 in C major, BWV 846, from Book I of The Well-Tempered Clavier, written by J.S. Bach some 137 years earlier. I transcribed his original piece for Choir (SATB) and 5-Octave English Handbells (with optional silver bell). I found this to be a hauntingly interesting blend of old and new and inspired by my wife, utilized the English Handbells in this piece to accentuate transitions between melody and dissonance; providing musical interest with their overtones to provide suspense and melodic resolution. This piece was best played using the "HandBells.sf2" SoundFont by FMJ Software (

"Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken" (UMH #731) for Choir (SATB)

4 parts2 pages00:444 years ago1,897 views
"Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken", also called "Zion, or the City of God", is an 18th-century English hymn written by John Newton, who also wrote the hymn "Amazing Grace".

Franz J. Haydn originally adapted Austria for a patriotic song, Gott, erhalte Franz, den Kaiser, first performed for the emperor’s birthday, February 12, 1797. It is still used as the tune of the German song Das Deutschlandlied. Because of the associations the first stanza (Deutschland, Deutschland über alles…) developed with the Nazis, the third stanza (Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit/Für das Deutsche Vaterland) is the one now used for the German national anthem.

Of the many hymn texts by the noted English clergyman, John Newton, this one is generally considered to be one of his finest and most joyous. In the Old Testament, the city of Zion was the place where God dwelt among His people. It was a haven of refuge, a treasured place. In our New Testament age, Zion refers to the church, a community of God's people, a living and dynamic organism. Newton's hymn refers to God's strong protection of His people, His promise to supply their needs, and His presence to lead His own by the cloud and fire as He did the Israelites of old.

John Newton, the convicted slave trader and sea captain before he turned to the Lord, never stopped praising God for His "sure repose"— "whose Word cannot be broken"—who formed us "for His own abode." - Osbeck, K. W. (1990). Amazing grace : 366 inspiring hymn stories for daily devotions.

"Hallelujah Chorus" from "The Messiah" (HWV 56 No. 44) for Choir (SATB), Handbells & Orchestra

20 parts23 pages03:41a year ago1,886 views
Voice(4), Trumpet(2), Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, English Horn, French Horn, Bassoon, Timpani, Percussion(3), Strings(4)
The "Messiah" (HWV 56) is an English-language oratorio composed in 1741 by George Frideric Handel, with a scriptural text compiled by Charles Jennens from the King James Bible, and from the Psalms included with the Book of Common Prayer (which are worded slightly differently from their King James counterparts). It was first performed in Dublin on 13 April 1742, and received its London premiere nearly a year later. After an initially modest public reception, the oratorio gained in popularity, eventually becoming one of the best-known and most frequently performed choral works in Western music.

Handel's reputation in England, where he had lived since 1713, had been established through his compositions of Italian opera. He turned to English oratorio in the 1730s, in response to changes in public taste; Messiah was his sixth work in this genre. Although its structure resembles that of conventional opera, it is not in dramatic form; there are no impersonations of characters and very little direct speech. Instead, Jennens's text is an extended reflection on Jesus Christ as Messiah, moving from the prophetic phrases of Isaiah and others, through the Incarnation, Passion and Resurrection of Christ to his ultimate glorification in heaven.

Handel wrote Messiah for modest vocal and instrumental forces, with optional settings for many of the individual numbers. In the years after his death, the work was adapted for performance on a much larger scale, with giant orchestras and choirs. In other efforts to update it, its orchestration was revised and amplified by (among others) Mozart. In the late 20th and early 21st centuries the trend has been towards authenticity; most contemporary performances show a greater fidelity towards Handel's original intentions, although "big Messiah" productions continue to be mounted.

At the end of his manuscript Handel wrote the letters "SDG"—Soli Deo Gloria, "To God alone the glory". This inscription, taken with the speed of composition, has encouraged belief in the apocryphal story that Handel wrote the music in a fervour of divine inspiration in which, as he wrote the "Hallelujah" chorus, "he saw all heaven before him". Many of Handel's operas, of comparable length and structure to Messiah, were composed within similar timescales between theatrical seasons.

Although originally written for Full Orchestra, I created this arrangement for Choir (SATB, English Handbells, Percussion (Tubular Bells & Timpini) & Orchestra (Piccolo Trumpet, Bb Trumpet, Flute, Oboe, Bb Clarinet, English Horn, French Horn, Bassoon, Violins, Violas & Cellos).
"Christ the Lord Is Risen Today" (UMH #302) for Children's Handbells & Choir (SATB)

"Christ the Lord Is Risen Today" (UMH #302) for Children's Handbells & Choir (SATB)

3 parts1 page01:132 years ago1,355 views
Percussion, Voice(2)
"Christ the Lord Is Risen" Today is a Christian hymn associated with Easter. Most of the stanzas were written by Charles Wesley, and the hymn appeared under the title Hymn for Easter Day in Hymns and Sacred Songs by Charles and John Wesley in 1739. It remains a traditional processional hymn on Easter Sunday.

The hymn is a variation of an earlier hymn Jesus Christ Is Risen Today, a 14th-century Latin hymn which had been translated into English and published in Lyra Davidica in 1708 (and later in 1749 in Arnold's Compleat Psalmodist). In some hymnals, Jesus Christ Is Risen Today is in fact the 3 stanza Compleat Psalmodist version with one or more of the additional stanzas written by Wesley appended.

I created this simplified arrangement from the United Methodist Hymnal (No. 302) for the Sierra Vista United Methodist Church (SVUMC) in Sierra Vista, Arizona. The piece covers just overa single octave and is is octave-doubled for each member of the Children's Handbell Choir and voice choir (SATB). The purpose of this arrangement is to introduce the children to the basic concepts of ringing, note reading, timing and teamwork.

"Ave Maria" on a Prelude by J.S. Bach in G Major for Flute, Mezzo Soprano & Guitar

3 parts4 pages02:412 years ago1,148 views
Flute, Voice, Guitar
Ave Maria based on a prelude by J.S. Bach written by French Romantic composer Charles Gounod in 1859 as the "Consideration on Bach's prelude". His Ave Maria consists of a melody superimposed over the Prelude No. 1 in C major, BWV 846, from Book I of The Well-Tempered Clavier, written by J.S. Bach some 137 years earlier.

I created this unique arrangement fro Flute, Soprano & Classical Guitar at the request of a friend.

"Appel A L'Unite" for Chorus (SATB) & Piano

5 parts11 pages03:203 years ago383 views
Voice(4), Piano
At the request of my friend Wermi Narcisse Wendpuiré from Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, I created this arrangement of his Acapella choral work for Chorus (SATB) and Acoustic Piano.

The lyrics translate as: "People of God,the Lord is calling you to be united. Let us walk together with joy to the Lord. Let's answer His call. We will sing Alleluia with happiness in our hearts. Being united means living together, accept each other in spite of our differences and be faithful to the Lord! (translation courtesy of Jenne Van Antwerpen).