Learn Carol of the Bells on Piano | Piano Marvel
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Carol of the Bells

Christmas Carol
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Intermediate - Level 4
Mykola Leontovych Arr. by Aaron Garner

Learn to play Carol of the Bells on the piano today! Purchase the digital sheet music for free to download and print unlimited copies.

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Can Piano Marvel help me learn to play Carol of the Bells?

Piano Marvel has developed specific tools and techniques to help you learn to play Carol of the Bells on the piano. In fact, we have created custom learning paths for thousands of popular piano songs! Most of the songs you will find in Piano Marvel are analyzed by a music teaching specialist to provide the most logical learning path for individuals of any skill level.

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Carol of the Bells. This song has been performed so many different times and in so many different ways. From the soft orchestral rendition by Robert Shaw to the hard-hitting metal version by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, there are no shortage of interesting and unique takes on this classic work. We can include in this the thousands of arrangements that exist of Carol of the Bells for piano. Despite this variety, we have found many of them are either difficult to play or don't sound very good. We are proud to say we think our arrangement strikes a perfect balance between being accessible to most pianists while maintaining a fun and interesting challenge. You can purchase the sheet music at the link above, or, set up a free Piano Marvel account to learn how to play Carol of the Bells using our guided piano learning method. To get the most out of our arrangement of Carol of the Bells, here are some of our favorite recommendations for making this song sound amazing. Let’s break down the song a little.

Things to consider when playing Carol of the Bells on piano

Measures 1-8 repeat a simple motif that is easy to memorize. This motif is what is known as an ostinato, or a phrase that persistently repeats. The left hand starts with this simple ostinato that compliments the right-hand part. To enhance the performance of this piece, you can start by playing softly and gradually crescendo (play louder) through the first 8 measures. You can also apply the sustain pedal (pedal on the right) at the start of each measure to create a fuller, richer, and more “sustained” sound.

The right-hand motif changes in measures 9-12 while the left hand continues to play the ostinato in the bass line. Keep building the energy through these measures by following the crescendos closely. Measures 13-16 is where Carol of the Bells reaches its climax. Here you will want to play loud and powerfully. Moving your body toward the piano will allow you to put more strength into your playing during this powerful section.

If you need, practice the right and left hands separately at first. It's okay to repeat these parts over and over to really get the feel of them into your fingers. Once you feel very comfortable with the individual parts, combine the left and right hands together at a slow tempo. If you are practicing with Piano Marvel, this will be very easy. Learn mode will guide you step by step through learning each section of Carol of the Bells.

Measures 17-20 could be considered the most challenging section of Carol of the Bells. At the same time, it is the most fun section! Play this section softly to give it a more mysterious feel. In measure 19, you can cross your left hand over your right hand to help make a smooth transition. The Carol of the Bells Lesson Video we have provided shows the best way to do this. Take your time with this section. It looks more complicated than it really is. You will notice that it has a repeating pattern that you can transfer from the lower octave to the upper octave.

Once you have learned measures 1-20, you nearly know the entire piece. You will find that measures 21-44 simply repeat parts that you have already learned in the first 20 measures. All that is left to learn are the last 4 measures. For this final section, hold the left-hand notes (D & A) throughout. Be sure to use the pedal to keep the notes sustained. Slow down the tempo here and take your time with the last few notes in the right hand. Keep holding the sustain pedal down to allow the sound to resonate for as long as you like. It creates a powerful effect to let the sound slowly fade away at the end.

Who wrote Carol of the Bells?

“Carol of the Bells” was written by Ukrainian composer Mykola Leontovych in 1914. The lyrics were later added by Peter Wilhousky. Since the lyrics were written after the song was composed, the music itself has become public domain but the lyrics are still under the copyright of Carl Fischer Music. The piece is based on the Ukrainian folk chant “Shchedryk.”

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