Coventry Carol is a traditional English Christmas carol dating back to at least the sixteenth century, where it formed part of the Pageant of the Shearmen and Tailors, one of the Coventry mystery plays. The plays themselves date back to at least 1392, but the earliest surviving record of the music is in a manuscript writen in 1534. Religious suppression put a stop to the plays by the end of the sixteenth century, but the manuscript recording the Coventry Carol survived and was published in 1817 as part of a revival of interest in the medieval and renaissance periods. The carol refers to the ‘Massacre of the Innocents’ from chapter two of the Gospel of Matthew, in which Herod orders the massacre of all Hebrew children under the age of two.
This arrangement was first performed by the Blackley Band conducted by Andrew Baker in 2004.
You can follow the score with and audio preview below:
Duration approximately 3’05”.
Playable by all standards of band.