Carol Guidelines

So you want to write a carol?  Great!  It will be beautiful.

I you are on the fence, remember what Glenn Gould said: the only way to write one is just to plunge right in and write one!

Here are some guidelines for Carol Slam carols.

Original The goal of the Carol Slam is to generate new holiday carols, so please write something new for the event.

Easy Carols should be fun for everyone to sing, so take it easy.  Consider it a challenge to write interesting music, without using strange notation or virtuoso techniques.

SATB or Melody with Chords A house ensemble will perform all the carols, so you should write with them in mind.  The choir will be four-part SATB. There will also be a small reed organ (a merry organ!) for playing chords.  You should write four-part harmony/counterpoint, or notate a melody with chord symbols.

Seasonal Your carol should be winter-seasonal, whatever that means to you.  Sacred, secular, post-modern–all welcome!

Format PDF files are the best.  You can use notation software like Finale or Sibelius, or engraving software like LilyPond.  You can also write by hand and scan it.  Just write clearly, so that the house choir (and others!) can read your carol easily.

December 20th Please email your carol to Ben at by Thursday December 20th, 2012. The house choir needs to read through it before the Carol Slam.

Copyrights Please use a public domain text, or obtain permission from your text’s author or copyright holder.  Or write your own text!  Here are a few possible texts. Also, please allow your new carol to enter the public domain, for all to enjoy.


3 thoughts on “Carol Guidelines

  1. Pingback: Carol Slam! | Carol Slam Portland

  2. Ben I am really excited an idea came to me on the way home from work! Not the Issa haiku but a different one. I am afraid it is really simple though, I might need help, if that is permissable…

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