Carol Of The Bells On Piano: Finding Your Way Around The Keyboard
Before learning the notes of Carol of the Bells, lets quickly go over the basics of piano and see the location of each note on a keyboard.
Look carefully at the image below to familiarize yourself with this exercise:
The name of the notes on a piano keyboard.
We can see on the picture above that the piano keyboard is divided into several parts. Each part is composed of 7 white keys, and each white key is associated with a different note.
Once you reach the 8th key, the sequence of notes starts again and the 7 notes continue in the same order. This is called an octave.
To identify the notes on the keyboard more easily, we recommend that you use the black keys above the white keys. Unlike the white keys, the black keys do not follow one another and work in groups of 2 and 3.
To identify a note, all you have to do is find your way around these groups of black keys.
For example, if we are looking for the note G, we must first look at the groups of 3 black keys. The G is located to the right of the first black key in the groups of three.
We advise you to learn the positions of the notes on the piano keyboard almost by heart. This will make it easier for you to play Carol of the Bells.
Carol Of The Bells Piano Notes/key
I chose to arrange Carol of the Bells in the key of A minor. This makes it particularly easy for those who are new to piano, since A minor has no sharps or flats in it.
There will also be a few accidentals added into the arrangements .
The overall structure of the song is simple. It starts out with a repeated pattern in the right hand that continues for quite a few measures. . This pattern will eventually move up to higher notes, and then commense into some flowing melodies and scales.
With the easy version, I have tried to keep the left hand extremely simple too. It has single notes or intervals throughout the entire song, so you wont have to worry about moving around a bunch with both hands at the same time.
As you learn this song, dont forget to pay attention to dynamics as well! Ive included a few noted on the music, but here are some extra notes:
- The repeated pattern in the right hand should be softer than whatever the left and is doing. It is not the melody.
- When you start the section with intervals in the left hand, you can get slightly louder when the intervals go up, and then softer when they go back down.
- Measure 21 is the climax of the piece, so dont hesitate to get bold and loud in the right hand there!
- When you get to the very end, make sure to get softer and slow down, just like bells fading out into the distance.
Take A Sneak Peek Of The Song Carol Of The Bells
Mykola Leontovych was a Ukrainian composer and choral conductor. He was also a highly respected teacher and specialised in a cappella choral work .
The song is written in 3/4 time but has a distinct 6/8 swing to it. The tune has a 4-note pattern which repeats over and over, making it easy to learn.
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Difficulty : The Dissociation Of The Two Hands
The dissociation of the hands is not an easy exercise. It requires concentration and practice.
The human brain is not used to processing such precise information in a synchronous way.
This is why beginner pianists usually have a hard time dissociating their hands during the first months of their learning.
But dont worry. Our goal here is for you to be able to play Carol of the Bells on the piano. So were going to give you some techniques and tips that will help you learn this exercise much faster.
Early Musical Career And Marriage
Leontovych’s first teaching post, which commenced in September 1899, involved working as a singing, and arithmetic teacher at a in the village of . Later, when recalling his time at the school, he wrote: “I cannot complain that the students and villagers treated me unfavourably due to my inexperience and youth, I was not a good school teacher. Certainly, my mistakes and errors in general educational activities were compensated to some extent by my musical teaching.” He would later write a book about this as a professor at the Kyiv Conservatory, titled Yak ya orhanizuvav orkestr u silskiy shkoli .
Leontovych met a girl named Claudia Feropontivna Zhovtevych, whom he married on 22 March 1902. The young couple’s first daughter, Halyna, was born in 1903. They later had a second daughter named Yevheniya.
Financial hardships prompted Leontovych to accept an offer to move to to instruct at the Church-Educators’ College. Again, he organised a choir and, later, a , with which he performed both secular and .
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The Notes Of The Right Hand
Did you find the C? Perfect! Now we can play all the following notes with the right hand.
Play each of the notes in the following sequence one after the other :
C B C A C B C A C B C A C B C A C B C A C B C A C B C A C B C A C B C A C B C A C B C A C B C A C B C A C B C A C B C A C B C A E D. -E C E D -E C E D -E C E D -E C A A A G F E E E D C D D D E D C B C A E F# G# A B C D E D C E F# G# A B C D E D C C B C A C B C A C B C A C B C A C B C A C B C A C B C A C B C A C+E B+D C+E A.
This sequence of notes corresponds to the whole melody of Carol of the Bells played with the left hand on the piano.
We advise you to repeat it over and over again to master it. Once you have mastered it, switch to the left hand.
Carol of the Bells on piano: the notes of the right hand.
Carol Of The Bells Piano
The Carol of the Bells is a beautiful Christmas piece that is extremely atmospheric and I am sure that you will enjoy learning this arrangement for piano. The piano notes are quite simple, but require a lightness of touch to fully create the ethereal mood of the piece. The music was written by the Ukranian composer Mykola Leontovych as a result, it is sometimes referred to as the Ukrainian bell carol. There are also some lyrics to the song which were written by Peter Wilhousky.
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Carol Of The Bells Piano Notes
The Carol of the Bells piano sheet music is in the key of G minor. The main melody of the piece is based around a 4 note ostinato pattern that is repeated and then transposed. There are also some sequences used.
The actual ostinato pattern is very simple to learn, but it is really important to take time to develop the articulation and phrasing of the notes. There is a real ethereal quality to the riff which needs to be captured to prevent it sounding mechanical and repetitive.
The left hand is very simple with repeated dotted quaver rhythm. This should be played smoothly almost as though it is a bassline being bowed by a cello.
The rhythmic feel of the piece is a very clever combination of both 3/4 and 6/8 time feel. The piece is written with a 3/4 time signature, but the bass movement implies a 6/8 timing built upon 2 measures. This interplay between the two timings gives it a dreamy dance-like quality.
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The Notes Of The Left Hand
Once you have found the note A, you can play all the notes of the left hand in succession. Press each of the corresponding keys on your piano:
A G F E F E D A D E F E E F# G# G# A C D A E E A G F E A A.
Press all these notes in a row to play the entire left hand of Carol of the Bells on the piano.
Although the left hand, played independently of the right hand, has no catchy melody, it does accompany the right hand and add depth to your playing. If you play only with the right hand, you will only have the melody of the song and your performance will lack emotion.
As with the right hand, repeat this sequence of notes over and over again so you know it inside out.
Carol of the Bells on piano: the notes of the left hand.
Carol Of The Bells Piano Sheet Music Dynamics
Dynamics are, in my opinion, take you from being a good piano player to a great one.
If youre new to dynamics, what Im talking about are the changes in volume and expression in the piece. We mark the spots meant to be played softly with a p and the spots meant to be played loudly with an f .
We also use crescendos and decrescendos to indicate growing louder or softer. Once you get comfortable playing the song in its basic form, try paying attention to these dynamic changes. You can learn more about dynamics and expression here.
But for now, happy practicing and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
Lisa Witthas been teaching piano for 19 years and in that time has helped hundreds of students learn to play the songs they love. Lisa received classical piano training through the Royal Conservatory of Music, but she has since embraced popular music and playing by ear in order to accompany herself and others.
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S Tips And Techniques
Pianists who are just beginning to learn often have difficulty separating their hands.
This is why some teachers or music coaches have developed techniques to help us learn this exercise more efficiently.
As we did in this tutorial, start by playing the notes of the song one hand after the other. This will get your brain used to the piano fingering of each hand. It will also memorize the information more quickly.
Once you know how to play the right hand alone and the left hand alone, you will have to synchronize them.
To do this, you can break up your song or exercise into lots of short passages of no more than a few seconds. For example, if the song you are practicing is 2 minutes long, then choose the first 10 seconds of the song. Play the notes of the passage over and over with both hands very softly. When you feel more comfortable, pick up the pace to the original tempo of the song. Once you have mastered the passage, move on to the next one. Repeat the exercise in the same way and, when you have mastered this passage as well, play the two passages in a row.
This trick allows your brain to assimilate the information gradually. This way, you will learn much faster and take the time to work on your technique and fingering.
Carol of the Bells on the piano: the notes of both hands.
Where To Start
Before playing all the notes in the right hand of Carol of the Bells, we will first use what we learned in the previous section to identify the position of the first note to play on the piano keyboard.
The first note is C. So place your finger on the corresponding key:
A is the first note of the right hand in the song Carol of the Bells on piano.
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